October 06, 2016 - 8:10 PM
MONTREAL - It could not have gone better for Carey Price's return to his familiar Bell Centre net or for Shea Weber's first game in a Montreal Canadiens jersey.
Newcomer Andrew Shaw scored two goals and Price turned away 28 shots as the Canadiens swamped the young Toronto Maple Leafs 6-1 in NHL pre-season action on Thursday night.
"Yeah, I feel pretty good," said Price, Canada's World Cup-winning goalie who played his first game for Montreal since suffering a knee injury last Nov. 25. "I feel I prepared well.
"Now I just want to get the season going."
Weber, who played his first club game since he was acquired from Nashville for P.K. Subban in the off-season, drew a huge roar from the crowd as he scored in the second period.
"It was exciting," the 31-year-old said. "We played a fast game. We did a lot of good things."
Michael McCarron, Alex Galchenyuk and Artturi Lehkonen also scored for the Canadiens, who ended their pre-season schedule at 4-1-2.
Auston Matthews scored a power-play goal for the Leafs (2-2-2), who complete their pre-season with back-to-back games against Detroit on Friday and Saturday.
But coach Mike Babcock called it a game that youngsters like Matthews need to learn from. He said that apart from physical forwards Matt Martin and Zach Hyman, none of his players put in their best effort.
"You're wearing our sweater and you came in tonight and didn't exactly have a good account of yourselves," Babcock said when asked what the youngsters can take away from the game. "They're all proud guys and they want to do good and we have enough skill to take a significant step from last year, and yet that skill doesn't mean anything if you don't compete hard.
"I think that would be the lesson from this game."
It was a rough start for new Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen, who faced 32 shots and didn't get much help from his defence. He was beaten 1:50 into the game when Shaw took Mikhail Sergachev's rebound off the end boards and tucked it in.
McCarron used Morgan Reilly as a screen to score with a wrist shot on a rush up the middle at 5:27.
Matthews returned the favour when he moved in on the left side and used Weber as a screen to beat Price with a high wrist shot at 14:21.
Shaw struck again 1:24 into the second frame when he redirected a clever feed from David Desharnais. Weber's weak shot from the right point got between Andersen's pads at 4:38.
Alexander Radulov was on his knees but still managed to be the pivot man on a give-and-go that saw Galchenyuk go to the net and deke Andersen 6:20 into the third. Lehkonen scored on a wrist shot from the right side at 10:59.
"It was ugly to watch," said Babcock. "They were better than us.
"They won all the battles, all the races. They looked organized and fast and we didn't, so we have to regroup and get ready for (Friday)."
Canadiens defenceman Jeff Petry, who played much of last season with a sports hernia that required off-season surgery, limped off 11 minutes into the first period after a collision along the boards and did not return. Coach Michel Therrien had no update on his condition.
Montreal captain Max Pacioretty sat out with a flu and was replaced by Sven Andrighetto, while forward Paul Byron missed with pneumonia.
Tyler Bozak sat out for Toronto with an undisclosed injury.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016