PREVIEW: There’s nothing but pride on the line Saturday when the Montreal Canadiens host the Toronto Maple Leafs in the season finale for the “Original Six” rivals. Montreal has clinched last place in the Eastern Conference and its first non-playoff season since 2006-07. The Maple Leafs missed the postseason for the seventh consecutive campaign, last appearing before the lockout in 2003-04. Toronto is 3-1-1 in its last five road games while the Canadiens have earned a point in five straight at home (3-0-2).
Toronto at Montreal
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, April 7, 2012
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
TV: 7 p.m. ET, CBC
Toronto Maple Leafs (35-36-10): Toronto has lost six of its last nine games but is 2-0-1 in its last three. The club, which is 17-20-3 on the road, has captured five of seven visits to the Bell Centre. Captain Dion Phaneuf’s overtime goal against Tampa Bay on Thursday made the Maple Leafs the last team this season to have a defenseman score a game-winning tally. Mikhail Grabovski likely will miss his third straight game with a leg laceration.
Montreal Canadiens (30-35-16): With All-Star Carey Price shut down due to a concussion, Peter Budaj is expected to start Saturday. Budaj has played well in place of Price, going 1-0-2 while allowing two goals or fewer in all three games. Montreal, which has lost eight of its last 10 overall contests, is 15-15-10 at home. Defenseman Tomas Kaberle returned to action in Thursday’s shootout loss at Carolina after missing nine contests with an upper-body injury. Kaberle led the team with five shots and also blocked one in nearly 19 1/2 minutes of ice time.
1. Toronto has lost 13 of its last 19 games against Northeast Division rivals.
2. The road team has won four straight matchups and six of the last seven.
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