Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 1

Associated Press | Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

TORONTO (AP) - TORONTO - The Montreal Canadiens finally had a good bounce go their way. And the faint light that represents their playoff hopes got a little bit brighter as a result.

Rene Bourque opened the scoring after having the puck unexpectedly carom off the end boards Saturday night and the Canadiens rode the good vibes to a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"That was probably the best bounce we've had all season," goalie Carey Price said. "It was nice to be able to feel like we had luck on our side tonight."

Positive signs have been few and far between during a tumultuous season in Montreal. But there was a good feeling in the dressing room after the team completed a tough weekend by earning three of four points in the standings.

The 11th-place Canadiens remain well back in the Eastern Conference playoff race - they trail eighth-place Washington by seven points - but aren't ready to concede the season just yet.

"There's still a light at the end there," forward Lars Eller said. "There are more than 30 games to go and we still have a lot of faith in this locker-room. We'll play one game at a time and see what happens."

Price finished with 32 saves, and Eller and Rafael Diaz added third-period goals for Montreal, which looked good despite losing a shootout in Pittsburgh a night earlier.

Matthew Lombardi replied for the Maple Leafs.

There was no sugarcoating the loss for a Toronto team that vowed to play desperate but couldn't quite match the effort of a tired opponent. The game was still up for grabs early in the third period when a problem with the glass brought on a lengthy delay. Montreal immediately seized momentum afterward as Diaz put them ahead 2-1 with a long shot through traffic.

"It's almost like that delay put us half to sleep," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "I thought we started the period pretty well. And we had that 10-minute delay and the next shift we ended up getting scored on."

Toronto missed a chance to leapfrog the Capitals for the final playoffs spot in the conference. It remains one point behind in ninth place.

"We know it's a big one," Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf said. "We talked a lot about how big this game was. We're definitely disappointed with the outcome."

NOTES: Montreal is 5-9-2 since interim coach Randy Cunneyworth took over last month ... Gustavsson is 10-5-0 in his last 14 starts ... Keith Aulie, Jay Rosehill and Darryl Boyce sat out for Toronto ... The Canadiens scratched Petteri Nokelainen and Yannick Weber. ... Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman watched the game from the press box.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
18:26MTL Rene Bourque (14) ASST: Tomas Plekanec (23), Erik Cole (18) 1 - 0 MTL
18:55TOR Matthew Lombardi (4) ASST: Tyler Bozak (19) 1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
3rd Period
03:29MTL Raphael Diaz (3) ASST: Scott Gomez (6) 2 - 1 MTL
11:25MTL Lars Eller (10) ASST: Travis Moen (7), Andrei Kostitsyn (10) 3 - 1 MTL
Three Stars of the Game
Carey Price
Carey Price
SA: 33TOI: 60:00
GA: 1EV: 23-24
PIM: 0PP: 8-8
SV%: .970SH: 1-1
Matthew Lombardi
Matthew Lombardi
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 15:34
Lars Eller
Lars Eller
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 0Hits: 2
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 16:01
Penalty Summary
1st Period
07:50MTL P.K. Subban  Roughing against  Tyler Bozak
2nd Period
06:43TOR Clarke MacArthur  Hooking against  Travis Moen
17:45TOR Mike Komisarek  Slashing against  Andrei Kostitsyn
3rd Period
07:56MTL Hal Gill  Tripping against  Nazem Kadri
12:23TOR Nazem Kadri  Interference on goalkeeper against  Carey Price
18:18MTL Tomas Kaberle  Tripping against  Joffrey Lupul
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/30/3
Faceoff Wins2341
Blocked Shots1915
Penalty Minutes66
11S. GomezC0110017:55
14T. PlekanecC0112020:01
17C. CampoliD0012012:30
22T. KaberleD0000217:31
26J. GorgesD0010021:23
27R. BourqueR1012014:02
32T. MoenL0100017:14
45M. BlundenR000007:14
46A. KostitsynL0101015:38
51D. DesharnaisC0001018:02
52M. DarcheL001008:13
61R. DiazD1011017:53
67M. PaciorettyL0001018:01
72E. ColeL0123021:38
74A. EmelinD0002018:17
75H. GillD0001211:28
76P. SubbanD0014221:17
81L. EllerC1003016:01
31C. Price3233.97060:00
2L. SchennD00-11011:05
3D. PhaneufD00-12027:56
4C. FransonD00-13015:47
8M. KomisarekD0000214:10
12T. ConnollyC00-21017:04
15M. LombardiC1013015:34
16C. MacArthurL0001213:22
18M. BrownR000207:02
19J. LupulL00-35017:26
20D. SteckelC000009:51
36C. GunnarssonD0000027:18
41N. KuleminL0001014:27
42T. BozakC0100017:35
43N. KadriC00-21214:25
46J. CrabbR0003012:41
51J. GardinerD00-12023:49
81P. KesselR0007018:58
84M. GrabovskiC0001016:42
50J. Gustavsson2023.87058:48