These aren’t good times for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
They lost their fourth consecutive game, this time by a score of 4-3 to the rival Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. Tomas Plekanec gave Montreal the lead for good with a goal just after a Habs power play with under nine minutes remaining in the third period.
Plekanec beat James Reimer short side with a wrist shot from a bad angle, in what was another tough night for the Toronto netminder. The Habs opened up a two-goal lead in the first period, beating Reimer with a pair of soft goals on the glove side.
The Maple Leafs remain in the top Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, but only by two points over the ninth-place Columbus Blue Jackets.
“This loss definitely stings,” said Leafs forward Mason Raymond, as per Mark Masters of TSN.
Added Leafs’ captain Dion Phaneuf: “We gotta pull ourselves out of it … close isn’t good enough right now.”
The subject of goaltending has dominated the conversation lately in Toronto. However, Jonas Siegel of TSN Radio 1050 reports that injured puck stopper Jonathan Bernier will not travel to New Jersey for tomorrow’s game between the Leafs and Devils.
For the Habs, the victory came with a price. Lars Eller left the game after the second period and did not return because of a lower-body injury, according to Stephen Whyno of the Canadian Press. The Habs will recall Michael Bournival.