The Toronto Maple Leafs managed to survive until a shootout tonight, but as has become their standard in 2015, they were defeated. In this case it was a 2-1 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens.
Toronto has only won two of 19 games since New Year’s Day. Of those 17 losses, this is just the second time that the Maple Leafs have managed to secure a consolation point.
This one got off to an eventful start as Leafs forward David Clarkson sparred with Brandon Prust and then later slammed defenseman Sergei Gonchar from behind, which resulted in another fight against Nathan Beaulieu.
Clarkson was booted from the game, but Gonchar suffered an upper-body injury while fellow Canadiens blueliner Beaulieu was assessed five minutes for fighting, two for instigating, and a 10-minute misconduct.
That put incredible pressure on Montreal’s remaining defensemen and P.K. Subban in particular was asked to pick up the slack. He logged an incredible 35:21 minutes of ice time, which is 3:04 minutes more than his previous career-high, per the NHL.com’s Аrpon Basu.
Canadiens goaltender Carey Price was also a big contributor, turning aside 28 of 29 Leafs shots prior to the shootout, although his counterpart Jonathan Bernier put forth a great performance as well.
Montreal has won four of its last five games, giving the squad a 36-15-4 record. The Canadiens are tied with Tampa Bay for the Atlantic Division lead with 74 points, although Montreal has played in three fewer games.