Montréal
Canadiens
44-30-8
Toronto
Maple Leafs
37-34-11

34 SOG
28 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
MTL
TOR
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game recap

Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 1

Saturday, 04.09.2011 / 10:02 PM

Associated Press

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Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 1
Montréal Canadiens 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 1

TORONTO (AP) - The regular season had barely ended before the heat got turned up on the Montreal Canadiens.

Just moments after beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 on Saturday night, the Habs found out they'd drawn the rival Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. After everything that went on between those teams this season, it promises to be an intense series.

"They play with a lot of fire," Montreal goalie Carey Price said. "It's just going to be good old-fashioned hockey."

No one can accuse the Canadiens of trying to avoid Boston, which won the last meeting between the teams 7-0 on March 24. The victory over Toronto on Saturday cemented the matchup, giving Montreal the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Naturally, most of the post-game talk was centered around what is to come.

"I'm just excited for the opportunity," Canadiens forward Michael Cammalleri said. "The rivalry matchup, it's one of those series where there will be a lot of eyes and a lot of talk about and all those things. Boston's a team that probably has a lot of high expectations internally.

"So they're going to come out expecting to win. We are going to feel the same way."

They'll arrive in the postseason on a winning note thanks to two goals from captain Brian Gionta - he had a chance to complete the hat trick on a third-period breakaway - and 27 saves from Price.

Montreal has stumbled a little in recent weeks and was looking to finish the regular season on a high note. The Canadiens managed to do that in front of an Air Canada Centre crowd that featured a large contingent of Habs fans, who sang "Ole! Ole! Ole!" as the clock ticked down.

"It was a little better than the Senators game (a 3-2 overtime loss Thursday), but there's still some things to clean up," Gionta said. Ryan White and Tomas Plekanec also scored for Montreal.

Phil Kessel replied for the Maple Leafs.

There was a subdued tone to the end of Toronto's sixth consecutive season out of the playoffs, with more than half the fans already headed for the exits. As good as the team played after the All-Sar break - finishing 18-9-6 - it still ended up seven points out of a playoff spot.

"I feel like we took some steps this year in the right direction," Leafs forward Clarke MacArthur said. "We don't want to be a team on the bubble next year ... and for that to happen we have to be more consistent and I thought we showed that in the second half.

"It's upsetting the way we finished the last couple games. But we're looking forward to a positive season next year and I thought the guys played really well the last couple of months."

Even though there was virtually nothing riding on the outcome of Saturday's game, it was a pretty spirited affair. There was hitting, a few scrums after the whistle and some sloppy play from both teams, which led to a number of great scoring chances.

Price had a solid outing to pick up his 38th win of the season, becoming the first Montreal goalie since Ken Dryden in 1976-77 to accomplish that feat. He watched last year's playoff run from the bench but will likely play a major role in the team's success or failure this spring.

"He's got the confidence going," Cammalleri said. "I think he's ready - poised and ready."

The Canadiens can expect the intensity to be ratcheted up in the coming days. They'll open the playoffs either Wednesday or Thursday in Boston.

Montreal came out on top in four of six meetings between the teams this season, but the two losses were notable. The first, an 8-6 defeat on Feb. 9, was a game that featured several fights and 182 penalty minutes; and the second was the 7-0 loss that came two weeks after Bruins captain Zdeno Chara hit Max Pacioretty into a stanchion at the Bell Centre.

"It's going to be a good series," Price said. "There's history between us."

Added Cammalleri: "Here we go."

NOTES: Montreal coach Jacques Martin earned his 600th career victory ... Gionta was the only Montreal player to appear in all 82 games.

scoring summary
1st Period
02:29
MTL
Ryan White (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Lars Eller (10), Tom Pyatt (4)
1 - 0 MTL
06:12
MTL
PPG - Brian Gionta (28) Snap shot - ASST: Scott Gomez (31), Mathieu Darche (14)
2 - 0 MTL
13:13
TOR
Phil Kessel (32) Wrist shot - ASST: Joe Colborne (1)
2 - 1 MTL
2nd Period
16:20
MTL
PPG - Brian Gionta (29) Snap shot - ASST: Yannick Weber (10), Roman Hamrlik (29)
3 - 1 MTL
3rd Period
13:29
MTL
SHG - Tomas Plekanec (22) Wrist shot - ASST: Tom Pyatt (5)
4 - 1 MTL
penalty summary
1st Period
04:55
TOR
Mike Brown  Fighting (maj) against  Ryan White
04:55
MTL
Ryan White  Fighting (maj) against  Mike Brown
04:55
TOR
Mike Brown  Roughing against  Ryan White
13:53
MTL
Benoit Pouliot  Tripping against  Dion Phaneuf
2nd Period
06:08
TOR
Matt Lashoff  Hooking against  Yannick Weber
14:59
TOR
Darryl Boyce  Roughing against  Scott Gomez
16:38
MTL
Lars Eller  Hooking against  Joffrey Lupul
3rd Period
04:05
MTL
Tom Pyatt  Holding the stick against  Keith Aulie
13:20
MTL
Benoit Pouliot  Hooking against  Dion Phaneuf
18:32
MTL
James Wisniewski  Roughing against  Nazem Kadri
goalie stats
Carey Price
SA: 28TOI: 60:00
Saves: 27EV: 24 - 25
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .964SH: 1 - 1
James Reimer
James Reimer
20-10-5
SA: 34TOI: 59:59
Saves: 30EV: 23 - 24
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 4
SV%: .882SH: 5 - 6