x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

NHL: Canadiens leave it late to steal derby victory from Toronto

The 717th staging of one of ice hockey's most edgy feuds ended with a smash and grab victory for Montreal at the home of the Maple Leafs, thanks to three late goals.

Montreal Canadiens' Brian Gionta.
Montreal Canadiens' Brian Gionta.

The Montreal Canadiens claimed bragging rights after a 5-2 win over rivals the Maple Leafs in a heated derby in Toronto.

The 717th staging of their near-100 year old feud saw Montreal hit three goals in the last 11 minutes to snatch victory.

Brendan Gallagher, Max Pacioretty and Brian Gionta all scored in the third period, with Gallagher firing home his sixth of the season 9:08 into the third to break a 2-2 tie.

Pacioretty cemented the win with his sixth goal - and second of the game - at 14:26. Gionta added an empty-net tally with 2:26 left.

Pacioretty had already struck in the second period, and defenceman Alexei Emelin got Montreal on the board in the first period. Carey Price made 21 saves for his 11th win.

More than pride was on the line as the Canadiens paid their first visit to the Air Canada Centre this season sitting atop the East standings, with and Toronto just three points adrift.

Montreal has lost just four times in regulation this season, the Leafs handing them two of those defeats, including a 6-0 thumping on home ice.

Since that embarrassing beating, 'Les Habitants' have not lost in regulation running their record to 7-0-2 winning a typically ill-tempered hard-hitting affair that included a penalty shot, a game misconduct and the usual trash-talking.

"Growing up I watched these games all the time so I was quite familiar with the rivalry," Toronto's leading scorer Nazem Kadri told Reuters.

"Now playing in them it seems like a whole different rivalry, you really don't understand the intensity of the these games when you are just watching them on the TV."

Kyle Palmieri scored three to lift the Pacific-leading Anaheim Ducks to their seventh straight home win, 5-1 over the Nashville Predators.

Palmeiri had not scored for 10 games, but broke out in style with a natural hat-trick, netting twice in the first period and once in the second, after Nick Bonino had opened the scoring for the Ducks.

Craig Smith pulled one back for the Predators, before Saku Koivu completed the scoring at the end of the second.

The Los Angeles Kings scored twice in the third period to rally for their fifth straight win, 2-1 over the Detroit Red Wings.

Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar did the business for the Kings after Kyle Quincey had put Detroit ahead in the first.

Elsewhere, the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Washington Capitals 4-1.


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