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Late strikes send Leafs over Canadiens
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - James van Riemsdyk scored the winning goal in the third period as the Toronto Maple Leafs took a 5-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens.
Mason Raymond, Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel all posted a goal and an assist, while Cody Franson also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have won four straight. Jonathan Bernier stopped 30 shots in the win.
Brendan Gallagher, Brian Gionta and David Desharnais all lit the lamp for the Canadiens, who have dropped six of their last 10. Carey Price allowed four goals on 29 shots in the loss.
Montreal had tied the game at 9:06 of the third period as a left circle faceoff win saw P.K. Subban's shot from the left point tipped in by Desharnais in front.
Toronto, though, took a 4-3 lead with 5:33 to play as Tyler Bozak caught up to the puck at the right circle and fed it to the front where van Riemsdyk tapped it in for his 19th of the year.
"Bozak made an unbelievable play," van Riemsdyk said. "That's a pretty tough play that he made there, put a saucer pass right on my stick and I just had to try to chip it in."
Lupul sealed the win with an empty-net goal in the final seconds.
Toronto scored at 4:49 of the first period as Nazem Kadri made a nifty move around the defender at the left side and sent the puck out front for a tip-in by Franson.
"I wanted to come out and have a big game," Kadri said. "Obviously the magnitude of this game was huge. For us to chase that top spot in the division is still a realistic goal for us. We knew we had to come out and play against a very good team."
The Canadiens tied the game on the power play as Gallagher put in a rebound from the left side at 17:29 of the first.
Toronto went back on top at 13:11 of the second period as Raymond circled around with the puck down low before centering it for a one-timer by Kessel.
The Leafs took a 3-1 lead on the power play as Raymond scored with a wrister from the right side, but the Canadiens got it back with 11.2 seconds remaining in the second as Gionta chipped the puck in from down low.
Montreal plays in Pittsburgh on Wednesday ... Toronto hits the road for four games starting Monday in Phoenix ... These teams split a pair of games in Montreal earlier in the season ... Toronto went 1-for-2 on the power play while Montreal was 1-for-3.
01/19 00:01:05 ET