The Canadiens bounced back from a 4-2 loss in Tuesday’s home opener with a 2-0 win at Atlanta on Wednesday. Jan Bulis and Saku Koivu scored for Montreal, which has won its first four road games for the first time since 1973-74.
Canadiens goalie Yann Danis stopped 32 shots Wednesday in his NHL debut, becoming just the third Montreal goalie to win his debut with a shutout, following Wayne Thomas in 1973 and Bob Perreault in 1955.
“I was really focused,” the 22-year-old Danis said. “It was a good start for me. Our team scored the first goal, so my confidence was there. … But it’s only one game.”
The Canadiens, who went 23-13-4-1 at home in 2003-04, will play 10 of their next 14 in Montreal. Goalie Jose Theodore, who rested Wednesday, was a big part of that home success, going 19-10-3 with a 2.12 goals-against average.
Theodore has struggled of late, allowing four goals in each of his last two starts against Ottawa on Tuesday and Toronto in the Canadiens’ 5-4 win on Oct. 8. Theodore, who made just 16 saves against the Maple Leafs, is 4-9-3 with a 2.74 GAA in 19 career games against Toronto.
The Maples Leafs have won two straight after opening the season 0-1-2. Jeff O’Neill scored his 200th career goal en route to a hat trick, pacing Toronto in a 9-1 victory over Atlanta on Thursday.
Bryan McCabe had four assists in the rout, which finished ugly after two third-period brawls that led to 109 penalty minutes. Forward Darcy Tucker, who had a goal and three assists, needed 20 stitches in his forehead after the game.
“That one kid Boulton took a run at one of our guys,” Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. “That’s trying to hurt people and there should be no place in the game for that. This was a disgrace.”
The Maple Leafs went 7-for-16 on the power play and goalie Ed Belfour, who had allowed five goals in each of his previous two games, stopped 19 shots.