MONTREAL — Jonathan Drouin scored two of the Montreal Canadiens’ three breakaway goals in a 5-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Bell Centre on Saturday.
Joel Armia had a goal and an assist, scoring on a breakaway on a power play seven seconds into the third period, and Carey Price made 29 saves for Montreal (5-4-2), which had lost consecutive games.
“You don’t get too many chances to get breakaways in this league, so I want to make sure I bury those when I get a chance,” Drouin said. “And I was happy to bury two, and lucky to get two breakaways.”
Jake Muzzin and Andreas Johnsson scored, and Michael Hutchinson made 33 saves for Toronto (6-5-2), which lost the second of back-to-back games.
The Maple Leafs, with Frederik Andersen in goal, defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-1 on Friday.
“I didn’t think we were competitive enough in the first period,” Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. “I thought we were really competitive and got the game going in the second, and then we gave them three goals in the third, any way you look at it. We made mistakes and they just shot it in the net, so we gifted them those three. It’s disappointing because we had crawled our way back and kind of set the tone.”
Armia gave Montreal its second lead at 3-2 when he stripped the puck from Muzzin after the opening face-off before driving in alone to score his sixth goal on a shot inside the right post.
“Obviously when you get chances and you put the puck in or create chances all the time it’s going to bring your confidence up,” Armia said. “And I’d say it’s pretty much easier to play with a lot of confidence than without any.”
Drouin, who scored on a breakaway in the first, made it 4-2 at 7:40 when he broke in alone again and scored unassisted.
Nick Suzuki increased the lead to 5-2 at 11:53 when he scored his third goal in five games on a pass from Nate Thompson on a 2-on-1.
“You’ve got to credit them, you’ve got to credit their goalie, he made some big saves,” Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews said. “They were pretty good defensively and you can’t give up two breakaways and a 2-on-1 with the game that close, and they obviously capitalized on their opportunities.”
Brendan Gallagher gave Montreal a 1-0 lead with his fifth goal at 7:43 of the first before Drouin beat Hutchinson with a backhand under his pads at 12:34 to make it 2-0.
Muzzin scored for a second straight game to draw Toronto within 2-1 with 16 seconds remaining in the period.
Johnsson’s third goal at 5:52 of the second tied it at 2-2.
They said it
“Well obviously we haven’t practiced at all, so that’s a huge thing for us to, you know, if you don’t practice, you don’t skate, so we need to get out there and get practicing, but this will be a week that we get an opportunity and get ourselves back on track. We’ve got a big game against Washington [Tuesday] and obviously it’s important to get out of the month of October with a win.” — Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock
“You don’t get all that many [breakaways] but we were pretty fortunate. The guys who are getting them, they really [bore] down and those are big goals, obviously. [Jonathan Drouin] created the last one and [Joel Armia] kind of created two of them. He made a really good play to [Drouin] on the first one and then just out-battled a guy for the last one. And those opportunities don’t come without good, smart plays and hard work, and I think those guys worked for those opportunities and made the most of them.” — Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher
Need to know
It was Montreal’s first regulation win in 11 games against Toronto since Jan. 7, 2017. The Maple Leafs had been 7-0-3 in their past 10 games against the Canadiens. … Matthews has 17 points (12 goals, five assists) in 13 games against Montreal. … Canadiens forward Max Domi had his seven-game point streak end. He had eight points (two goals, six assists) during the streak. … Gallagher scored six seconds into the second period of a 5-2 win at the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 19. Claude Provost set the Montreal record for the fastest goal from the start of a period, which is tied for the NHL record, when he scored four seconds into the second period against the Boston Bruins on Nov. 9, 1957.
Maple Leafs: Host the Washington Capitals on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; TSN4, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)
Canadiens: At the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; FS-A PLUS, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV)