Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 0
TORONTO (AP) _ Curtis Joseph, limited by injury to two exhibition games, had 26 saves as the Toronto Maple Leafs opened their season with a 2-0 victory Saturday night over the Montreal Canadiens.
Joseph, recovering from a strained groin, got the 27th shutout of his career. It was Toronto’s first opening-night shutout since beating Boston in 1984.
Former Canadien Jonas Hoglund, and Sergei Berezin scored for Toronto, which has won five straight home games against Montreal. It was the 647th meeting of the historic rivals, a series Montreal leads 310-252-84.
With Joseph in goal, the Maple Leafs are expected to contend for the Stanley Cup, which they haven’t won in 33 years.
With a two-man advantage midway through the first period, Mats Sundin passed to Steve Thomas, whose shot deflected to Hoglund. He batted the puck down and in 11:07 into the game.
Berezin scored with just 3:18 remaining. He converted a give-and-go with Igor Korolev, tapping the puck past Jeff Hackett.
Midway through the second period, Joseph stacked the pads and robbed Saku Koivu of a goal with a sprawling stop.
The Canadiens, who lost 8-4 to New Jersey on Friday night, went 0-for-9 on the power play and had just five shots in the third period.
Hackett, who was pulled in the second period Friday night, loss, stopped 17 of 19 shots.
Notes: Wendel Clark, who retired in June after spending most of his 15-year career with the Maple Leafs, received a five-minute standing ovation before the game. ... The Maple Leafs also had a video tribute for Canadiens great Maurice Richard, who died earlier this year. ... The Canadiens lost an NHL record 536 man-games to injury last season. ... The 48th Highlanders pipe band continued their opening night tradition by performing before the game. ... Comedian Mike Myers was in attendance.