Paul Byron breaks late tie, Canadiens beat Maple Leafs 4-2
MONTREAL (AP) — Paul Byron broke a tie with 2:28 left, Jake Allen made 49 saves and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 on Saturday night.
Taking advantage of a Toronto turnover, Byron skated the puck the length of the ice and waited patiently before beating Erik Kallgren between the pads.
Since coming back from a lower-body injury, Allen has played the last five games and had two 40-plus save nights. He was steadfast in saying he wanted to help his team win going forward even with the playoffs out of the picture.
“I said to myself, ‘I want to come back and I didn’t want to be a reason that this thing slipped,’” Allen said. “I want to come back and really be a contributor and a leader here.”
“These guys right now make me excited for every game to play and even though we’re out of the playoffs and we’re in last place, it doesn’t really matter right now. We’re playing for a lot more than that.”
David Savard scored in consecutive games, Cole Caufield added a goal and Christian Dvorak had an empty-netter. Savard and Byron each had an assist and Nick Suzuki had two to back Allen’s strong performance.
“In games like that against big teams, you need your goalie to be the best player,” Montreal interim coach Martin St. Louis said. “That’s what he was tonight.”
Auston Matthews and William Nylander scored for Toronto and Mitch Marner had two assists.
Matthews opened the scoring 36 seconds into the game with his 47th goal, matching his career high set in 2019-20. Later Saturday, Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl had a hat trick in the Oilers’ 9-5 loss at Calgary to tie Matthews for the NHL goals lead.
Kallgren made 14 saves.
“Obviously not happy with the result,” Kallgren said. “I definitely wanted to give the guys a good chance to win it. Definitely, definitely, stung.”
Maple Leafs: Host Florida on Sunday night.
Canadiens: At New Jersey on Sunday night.