Toronto Maple Leafs beat Montreal Canadiens 3-2 to win the opener

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This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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GAME SUMMARY         |           EVENT SUMMARY        |           FACEOFF SUMMARY


–       Auston Matthews opened the scoring for the Maple Leafs on the power play at 12:57 of the first period and later scored the overtime-winning goal at 1:01 of the extra frame. In 2017-18, Matthews had five multi-goal games and scored two overtime winners.

–       John Tavares scored Toronto’s second goal of the night at 18:07 of the second period. The goal is Tavares’ first as a Maple Leaf. Tonight’s game is his Maple Leaf debut.

–       Morgan Rielly registered the primary assist on Matthews’ first period power play goal. Rielly led the Maple Leafs in power play assists last season with 24.

–       Nazem Kadri picked up the secondary assist on Matthews’ first period goal and later added the primary assist on Tavares’ second period goal. Nineteen (12 goals, 7 assists) of Kadri’s 55 points came on the power play in 2017-18. He had two multi-assist games in 2017-18.

–       Travis Dermott had the secondary assist on Tavares’ second period goal. Dermott registered nine (1 goal, 8 assists) of his 13 points on home ice last season.

–       Patrick Marleau registered the primary assist on Matthews’ overtime-winning goal. Marleau had 47 points (27 goals, 20 assists) in 2017-18.

–       Jake Gardiner picked up the secondary assist on Matthews’ second goal of the night. Gardiner had 47 assists last season, which was tied for the Maple Leafs lead.

–       Frederik Andersen stopped 34 of 36 Canadiens shots to earn his first victory of the season. In 2017-18, Andersen made 30 or more saves on 39 occasions.



–       The Canadiens had a 36-26 lead in shots on goal in all situations and a 30-20 edge in shots on goal at 5-on-5.

–       Montreal had a 76-60 lead in shot attempts in all situations and a 63-47 lead in shot attempts at 5-on-5.

–       John Tavares recorded a team-high five shots on goal and eight shot attempts.











































–       The Maple Leafs are 1-0-0 at home this season.

–       Toronto’s all-time record is 298-341-88-14 in 741 games against the Canadiens and 189-128-45-9 in games played in Toronto.

–       Toronto is 1-0-0 against the Eastern Conference this season and 1-0-0 against the Atlantic Division.

–       The Maple Leafs are 48-35-15-3 all-time in home openers and 40-43-14-4 all-time in season openers.

–       Tonight’s attendance is 19,589.


Faceoff Wins

11 (Tavares)

Faceoff Win Percentage

100% (Johnsson – 1 won, 0 lost)


3 (Dermott, Ozhiganov)

Blocked Shots

4 (Marleau)


2 (Marner)


22:47 (Zaitsev)

Power Play TOI

3:29 (Marner, Tavares)

Shorthanded TOI

5:02 (Zaitsev)


29 (Zaitsev)

5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage

64.7% (Kapanen – 11 for, 6 against)


–          The Maple Leafs were 3-for-4 on the penalty kill and 1-for-3 on the power play tonight. Toronto is 1-0-0 when allowing a power play goal this season and 1-0-0 when scoring a power play goal.

–          Toronto is 1-0-0 when their opponent scores the first goal of the game.

–          The Maple Leafs are 1-0-0 when tied after one period and 1-0-0 when tied after two periods.

–          Toronto has a 1-0-0 record when outshot by their opponent.

–          The Maple Leafs are 1-0-0 in Wednesday games.


–          Toronto’s line of Andreas Johnsson, Kasperi Kapanen and Par Lindholm did not start a 5-on-5 shift in the offensive zone.

–          Travis Dermott was on the ice for a team-high 21 Toronto shot attempts-for and had a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 61.8 percent (21 for, 13 against).

–          Tyler Ennis played 15:55 in his Maple Leaf debut.

–          Nazem Kadri was 4-for-4 (100%) in the faceoff circle against Montreal centre Phillip Danault.

–          Par Lindholm played 12:03 in his NHL debut.

–          Igor Ozhiganov played 13:01 in his NHL debut.



–       Saturday, October 6, 7 p.m., vs. Ottawa Senators (Hockey Night in Canada, FAN 590)

–       Sunday, October 7, 7 p.m., at Chicago Blackhawks (Sportsnet, TSN 1050)

–       Tuesday, October 9, 8:30 p.m., at Dallas Stars (TSN4, FAN 590)

–       Thursday, October 11, 7:30 p.m., at Detroit Red Wings (TSN4, TSN 1050)

–       Saturday, October 13, 7:00 p.m., at Washington Capitals (Hockey Night in Canada, TSN 1050)



On tonight’s game:

I thought Montreal played with great effort and great structure. I thought they worked real hard, I thought they were above the puck, I thought they were happy to put it in and get on top of us. I thought they worked real hard, to tell you the truth. I thought we got good goaltending, I thought they got really good goaltending as well, we had some grade-A [scoring chances]. In the end, we won the game, but we have to work way harder and play way better than we did tonight. You guys can write all you want and tell everyone how great we are, but it’s the National Hockey League and you’ve got to come to work every day. If you don’t work harder than the other team, if you don’t put your work before your talent, you don’t win. If you turn the puck over, you don’t win. There’s probably lots of good messages. Every night when the puck is dropped you’re playing a real good team. It doesn’t matter how many points they have, I’m telling you they’re a real good team. I think I mentioned that this morning when I had the lineup one above the other. I mentioned that same thing. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what I say, it’s more about what they know when they get out there. I thought tonight was a real good message and we got two points.

On if the team struggled more with work ethic or execution:

I just think when the other team is on top of you and they’re hungrier than you and they’re winning more 50-50 battles – part of it is execution, part of it is work, part of it is if you don’t come back and stop, you go by, it’s hard to execute. Don’t get me wrong, I like winning. That’s why you play the whole game, that’s why you came here tonight. Real nice play by our guys in overtime, we hemmed them in, we changed, we were fresh, came with speed. All of those things. We scored a nice power play goal, our penalty kill looked good – we made a mistake there for [Montreal’s second period] goal. I thought there was lots of good things. I thought Lindholm was really good, Dermott played well. But, we’re way better than that and expect more.

On Tavares scoring his first goal with the club:

Obviously, it was a good goal. Leivo went to the net hard, just enough to distract Carey [Price] a little bit and [Tavares] was able to make the shot. Obviously, Matthews – I think we’re better and want us to play better and play right and move on.

On if he’s confident the team doesn’t need to learn many lessons to play right:

No, I’m not confident… I think you think there’s a big carry over from year-to-year and there’s not. I’ve been in the League a long time and you start over again each and every year. This is a different kind of team with a different set of expectations. You know, when you’re real scared, it’s easy to work hard. When you’re not as scared, it’s not as easy to work hard. Hopefully that’ll put a little scare in us and we’ll get going.

On how the forwards can help execute better breakouts with the defence:

I thought I said that already – they were on top of us all the time so why not just get on top of them? Then it’ll be way smoother coming out of our own zone. If they establish their game first and get on top of you first, they’re a five-man unit and there’s no space and you can hardly make plays. If you can get on top of them, you create space, you start wearing them out and you’re out-changing them, you look pretty smooth. Tonight, we didn’t look that smooth. We did win, right?


On tonight’s win:

We wanted to come out with a good start and get two points. Great atmosphere and we definitely wanted to come away with a win tonight.

On Montreal’s shot volume:

I thought they were trying to get everything on net and running towards the net as well, trying to create traffic. I thought we had some key blocks throughout the game and, especially in the third, that helped me out. Great to see and obviously a great way to finish off.


On starting the season with a three-on-three overtime:
It’s always fun opening it up. There is a lot of skill on our team and letting everybody do their thing, it’s fun. Nice to get a win but kind of an ugly win for us tonight. I thought they kind of out worked us most of the game and had us back on our heels, but a lot we can learn from and move forward. It’s a good two points for us.

On if there were nerves before the game:
I don’t know, maybe. It could be nerves. It’s the first game, you just want to get that under your belt and get it going. They came out jumping. They’re a good team, they work hard. I think a lot of people have written them off but they’re hungry and they were solid in preseason and solid tonight. They work hard and play fast and they don’t give you much space.


On scoring his first goal as a Maple Leaf:

It was nice to contribute and take advantage of some space there. Great play by [Nazem Kadri] and I think it was [Josh Leivo] going to the net, not 100 percent sure on that. I was just able to create some space for myself and capitalize to put the team ahead at that point.

On the crowd welcoming him and reacting to his goal:

Obviously, just in general, I think the atmosphere tonight was great. The support was tremendous. I just want to build on it. There’s a lot of room for growth.

On the pressure put on the Maple Leafs by Montreal:

I don’t think we played our best, I don’t think we played in their zone enough or as much as we’d like to. They competed and they skated well, put some pressure on us. It seemed like we were fighting the puck a bit. We just seemed to mishandle it a few times. That’s the way it is to start the season – it’s still a little warm outside and those things you can’t control. We just have to be more sure of ourselves and play a little bit of a quicker game. Obviously, I think we’re a pretty good team when we have the puck, just need to do a better job of taking care of it and playing in their zone.

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