Byron, Galchenyuk score; Price stops 31 shots as Canadiens top Leafs | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Byron, Galchenyuk score; Price stops 31 shots as Canadiens top Leafs

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price makes a save against Toronto Maple Leafs' James van Riemsdyk during first period NHL hockey action in Montreal, Saturday, November 19, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
November 19, 2016 - 7:09 PM

MONTREAL - For a player who had just sat out two games with a virus, Alexander Radulov had plenty of energy.

The Russian winger set up linemates Paul Byron and Alex Galchenyuk each with a goal as the Montreal Canadiens ended a three-game winless run with a 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

Radulov was all over the ice in his return to action, picking up two assists and skating hard at both ends. He had missed games Tuesday against Florida and Friday in Carolina with an illness that he first felt during a 3-2 loss last Sunday in Chicago.

"It was bad," said Radulov, whose 16 points in 17 games places him second to Galchenyuk in team scoring. "I had a fever.

"In Chicago, I felt it in the morning but it wasn't that bad but it got worse overnight and I went to the hospital. But I battled through."

Having a healthy Radulov back seemed to pick up the entire team and they needed that, as well as Carey Price's 31 saves, in an end-to-end, entertaining contest against the quick, young Maple Leafs.

The former Nashville Predator has been a pleasant surprise for Montreal since he signed a one-year deal as a free agent in the summer after playing four seasons in the KHL.

"We've all been around people who have that kind of energy and it's contagious," Canadiens defenceman Shea Weber, not intending a pun, said of Radulov. "That be-positive attitude. Guys feed off that. It's not an act. It's who he is."

As coach Michel Therrien put it: "He's intense. He loves practice. He loves meetings. He loves the game."

It helped Montreal (14-3-2) win a 12th straight game against its oldest rival dating to Jan. 18, 2014.

William Nylander scored for the Leafs (8-7-3), who were coming off a pair of home wins in which they scored 12 goals. They pushed hard in the third period, but couldn't get a second goal past Price.

"We're happy with the way we battled at the end," said Leafs defenceman Morgan Reilly. "We were right there the whole game.

"It was a one-shot difference. To keep it close was good but you want to get one at the end there and tie it up and at least get a point."

They got another good effort from goalie Frederik Andersen, who faced 29 shots and had little chance on either goal he allowed.

"Freddie's been outstanding," said Reilly. "It's about us giving him the support he needs. We have a lot of confidence in him. He's earned it."

Byron was on the doorstep to jam the rebound of a Shea Weber shot past Andersen 15:45 into the opening period. It was the diminutive winger's seventh of the season, only four shy of his career high for a season.

The Canadiens were only five seconds into a power play when Galchenyuk got his seventh of the season. He won a faceoff back to Weber, who slid the puck to Radulov on the right wing for a perfect feed in front for the Canadiens' scoring leader to score into an open side at 0:32 of the second frame.

Toronto struck back on the man advantage at 8:47 on an equally sweet three-way passing play, this time in tight traffic as the puck went from Auston Matthews to Leo Komarov to Nylander alone on the right side for his sixth of the season.

"They've got a skilled, young team," Weber said of the Leafs. "They're good on the power play and they've got speed.

"I thought we did a good job of staying behind them and taking away that speed a bit."

It was the second meeting this season between the rivals. The Canadiens won, also by 2-1, at home on Oct. 29. Their next two games are in Toronto on Jan. 7 and Feb. 25, 2017.

Notes: Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty played his 500th NHL game. ... Martin Marincin, Peter Holland and Frank Corrado were scratched for Toronto, while Montreal sat out Daniel Carr and Greg Pateryn.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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