Final OT

Series (Game 6 of 6)

Series tied 3-3

Game 1: Thursday, October 1st
Maple Leafs3
Game 2: Saturday, October 31st
Maple Leafs4Final
Game 3: Tuesday, December 1st
Maple Leafs3Final
Game 4: Saturday, December 26th
Maple Leafs2
Game 5: Saturday, March 20th
Maple Leafs3
Game 6: Saturday, April 10th
Maple Leafs4Final

Maple Leafs 4

(30-38-14, 74 pts)

Canadiens 3

(39-33-10, 88 pts)

Coverage: NHL

7:00 PM ET, April 10, 2010

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1 2 3 OT T
TOR 1 1 1 14
MTL 2 1 0 03

C. Hanson (Maple Leafs - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

S. Gomez (Canadiens - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

A. Markov (Canadiens - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

Maple Leafs-Canadiens Preview


The Montreal Canadiens have had a pair of chances to clinch a playoff berth but have failed to take advantage.

Perhaps no team would love to ruin their last opportunity more than the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Montreal hopes Saturday night's regular-season finale at the Bell Centre doesn't keep them home for the postseason, but the Maple Leafs figure to relish a shot at playing spoiler to their Original Six rivals.

The Canadiens (39-33-9) were in sixth place and needed one win to ensure they'd make the playoffs when the week began, but they blew two opportunities to lock up their spot. Montreal let a one-goal lead with two minutes to play slip away in a 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday, then were outplayed throughout a 5-2 defeat at Carolina on Thursday.

The Canadiens, who can finish anywhere from sixth to ninth, won't be eliminated Saturday with a loss, but their last chance at controlling their own destiny comes against the Maple Leafs (29-38-14). A win or a non-regulation loss puts Montreal in the playoffs.

"We are still in control here," said forward Brian Gionta, who has three goals against Toronto this season. "We obviously have to regroup after two disappointing losses, but we have to stay positive. We can't go into (Saturday's) game down on confidence. We have to turn our game around and win."

Toronto is guaranteed to finish in last place in the Eastern Conference, but that doesn't mean it won't be ready to face its oldest and most bitter rival.

"It's unfortunate that our season ends (Saturday)," Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "But we'd like to put a little bit of sand in their gears if we have the opportunity."

An unproductive power play has hurt Montreal over the last month. The Canadiens are scoring 12.2 percent of the time (6 for 49) with the man advantage in their last 13 games after converting on 24.2 percent of their chances -- second in the NHL -- through their first 68 games.

Montreal has scored on 26.8 percent of its power-play chances (15 for 56) against Toronto over the past two regular seasons, but it hasn't been as successful with the man advantage when hosting the Maple Leafs. The Canadiens are 3 for 25 on the power play and have gone 2-3-0 at Bell Centre. They're 4-1-1 at the Air Canada Centre in that stretch.

Toronto has the worst penalty kill (74.6 percent) in the league, but it's thwarted 85.7 percent of its opponents' power plays since Feb. 6.

Lately, the Maple Leafs' problem is on the offensive end. They've scored twice in going 0-2-1 in their last three games against the Canadiens' three competitors for the East's final three playoff spots. Dion Phaneuf's third-period goal was all Toronto could muster in a 5-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

"It's disappointing that our team didn't come out ready to play," said Phaneuf, who scored his first goal with the Maple Leafs. "It's unacceptable at this time of the year."

Jean-Sebastien Giguere will make his first start versus Montreal in a Maple Leafs uniform. He's 4-2-0 with a tie and a 2.84 goals-against average in his career against the Canadiens.

Jaroslav Halak, meanwhile, is 5-1-1 with a 2.51 GAA over the past two seasons versus Toronto.