Mikhail Grabovski scored twice in the third period and Toronto gave Randy Carlyle a victory in his first game behind the Maple Leafs’ bench, beating the Canadiens, 3-1, last night in Montreal.
The Maple Leafs fired Ron Wilson Friday night and hired Carlyle, the former Toronto defenseman who was fired by Anaheim in December.
“I was a little nervous, a little butterflies, but I didn’t make too many mistakes, I thought,’’ Carlyle said. “It’s different when you haven’t been behind a bench for three months and it’s a new team, but we got through it. The assistants did a great job.’’
Matt Frattin also scored and Jonas Gustavsson made 21 saves to help Toronto end a six-game winless streak and win for only the second time in 12 games. Erik Cole scored for Montreal.
Grabovski made it 2-1 midway through the third period after the Maple Leafs caught Montreal on a line change. Clarke McArthur slid a pass to Grabovski and the Belarusian center used Alexei Emelin as a screen to beat Carey Price with a high shot from the slot.
Grabovski added another goal on a power play with 53 seconds left.
Carlyle had said when he took over that the Leafs seemed tense, and nerves showed as Montreal controlled the early play and opened the scoring when David Desharnais fed Cole for an open shot 7:16 into the first.
Frattin tied it in the second period.
“It’s obviously a nice way to start,’’ Carlyle said. “I thought our team put out an effort. It’s impressive when you can go into the other team’s building and hold them to under 25 shots and score two big goals in the third to eke out a win. I asked them to skate and not worry about anything, but what our focus was, which was to win the game. We stayed with our game plan. We played hard, we got some breaks, and our key guys scored some goals.’’
Lightning 4, Hurricanes 3 - Steven Stamkos scored twice, including a power-play goal 2:41 into overtime, to lift visiting Tampa Bay over Carolina.
Teddy Purcell extended his career-best point streak to nine games with a power-play goal in the third period, and Tim Wallace scored his first career goal.
Mathieu Garon had 20 saves in the win. Tampa Bay won in overtime for the second straight night after beating the Rangers at home Friday.
Anthony Stewart had two goals for Carolina, and Jussi Jokinen also scored for the Hurricanes.
Cam Ward, playing in his 400th NHL game, stopped 24 shots in the loss.
Wallace gave Tampa Bay the lead at 5:58 with his first goal in 58 games. Wallace was in his third game with Tampa Bay after being claimed on waivers from the Islanders.
Penguins 5, Avalanche 1 - Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 35 shots, Steve Sullivan had a goal and an assist, and streaking Pittsburgh beat Colorado in Denver.
Evgeni Malkin, Arron Asham, Richard Park, and Deryk Engelland also scored as Pittsburgh stretched its winning streak to a season-high five games. Matt Hunwick scored and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 22 saves for Colorado.
Kings 4, Ducks 2 - Jeff Carter scored his first two goals since joining Los Angeles last week, Mike Richards had three assists, and Jonathan Quick made 29 saves as the host’s win over the Anaheim.
Jonas Hiller stopped 16 shots in his 25th consecutive start for Anaheim, but the Ducks are stuck in 12th place in the conference, 7 points from a playoff spot with 16 games to play.
Sabres 5, Canucks 3 - Ville Leino scored twice in the first 3:44 and Ryan Miller made 32 saves to help visiting Buffalo beat Vancouver.
The Sabres, 6-0-2 in their past eight games, moved within 2 points of eighth-place Winnipeg in the race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Predators 3, Panthers 1 - Mike Fisher scored early in the second period and Pekka Rinne made 39 saves in Nashville’s victory over host Florida.
David Legwand and Andrei Kostitsyn also scored, and Kostitsyn added an assist as the Predators won for the fifth time in seven games.
Blue Jackets 5, Coyotes 2 - Rick Nash had two goals and an assist as Columbus beat host Phoenix.
Nikita Nikitin and John Moore scored in the third period after the Coyotes rallied from a two-goal deficit to make it 2-2.
Blues 3, Sharks 1 - Andy McDonald and Kevin Shattenkirk scored power-play goals and visiting St. Louis capped a four-game season sweep of San Jose.