Murray impresses as Leafs beat Canadiens in preseason

Leafs' summer acquisition leaves Habs scoreless in two periods of play

Matt Murray in Wednesday's morning skate before his first start with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Leafs' goalie Matt Murray in Wednesday's morning skate before his first start with the blue and white. (Photo courtesy of @MapleLeafs Twitter) 

Matt Murray saved all 16 shots he faced in his first taste of Toronto Maple Leafs’ preseason action as his side defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 at Scotiabank Arena on Wednesday.

The two-time Stanley Cup winner impressed in his debut appearance in Leafs’ (2-1-0 in preseason) threads, also tallying an assist on the game winning-goal before he gave way to Erik Källgren to start the final frame.

Nick Robertson’s first-period goal proved to be the difference maker. Denis Malgin added insurance in the middle frame – his second goal in two preseason games – and had an assist on the final goal.

The tandem of Samuel Montembeault and Kevin Poulin played in goal for Montreal (0-2-0 in preseason), each allowing a goal facing a combined 29 shots.

Robertson opened the scoring for Toronto, advancing a breakout pass from Mark Giordano and, from a tough angle, beat Montembeault on the short side.

To kick off the second period, Rem Pitlick nearly potted one for Montreal after he picked up a rebound while he was face-to-face with Murray in the slot. Though, after the twenty-five-year-old made a move to find the open net, Murray reached back to make the sprawling save to keep his shutout alive.

With a minute and a half left in the second period, Toronto again went on the powerplay as Arber Xhekaj was called for the holding penalty. The Hamilton native could not keep up with William Nylander knifing his way to the net.

Malgin converted with the man-advantage, ending the tic-tac-toe play that was set up by Alex Steeves and Alex Kerfoot by slapping the one-timer over the right shoulder of Poulin.

Sheldon Keefe’s side held on through a solid defensive third period, and they sealed the victory with a second powerplay goal of the game when Nick Abruzzese found Nylander’s tipped puck in the goalmouth and put it away.

Notes: Though not on the injured list, Toronto’s projected first offensive line of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and Michael Bunting all took the game off … The teams honoured the 50th anniversary of the Summit Series throughout the game … The attendance at Scotiabank Arena was 17,519.

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Posted: Sep 28 2022 10:00 pm
Filed under: Hockey Sports Toronto Maple Leafs