Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 1


TORONTO – Defenseman Pavel Kubina scored twice to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.

Mats Sundin and Jeff O’Neill also scored power-play goals for the Maple Leafs, who have won three of five against their Original Six rival. The game was broadcast across Canada on CBC’s “Hockey Night in Canada.”

Tomas Plekanec scored for the Canadiens, who entered the day with the fourth best penalty kill percentage in the league.

Toronto went 3-for-4 on the power play. The Maple Leafs ended a three-game losing skid at home where they ranked 30th in the league with the man advantage.

Kubina, who signed a four-year, $20 million contract in the offseason, scored just his third and fourth goals of the season. He gave Toronto a 1-0 lead at 13:29 of the first with a shot from just inside the blue line. His slap shot in the third made it 4-1.

Sundin, Toronto’s captain, scored for the first time in nine games. He gave Toronto a 3-1 lead at 17:18 of the second with a slapshot from the faceoff circle.

O’Neill scored his 17th goal of the season with a shot from blue line at 14:48 of the first. Before the game, Toronto coach Paul Maurice said he needed to finish with at least 35 goals to help the Leafs make the playoffs.

Plekanec’s shot from the faceoff circle beat goalie Andrew Raycroft, cutting it to 2-1 at 6:06 of the second.

The Canadiens have lost six of eight on the road.

Notes: Sundin has 1,210 career points, tying him with Bobby Clarke for 38th on the all-time list. … The teams play three more games against each other. … Three of the previous four games went to shootout. … The Leafs now go on a season-high five-game road trip. … Toronto’s John Pohl hit the post in the second period. … The American Hockey League All-Star game is Monday night in Toronto. The Marlies, Toronto’s AHL affiliate, have struggled at the gate. Many tickets are available for Monday’s game.

AP-ES-01-27-07 2150EST