FINAL | Pre-season Game 6, Home Game 5 | Wednesday September 26, 2018
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC.





Jesperi Kotkaniemi (Photo by USA Today Sports)


Forward lines and defense pairings 

Drouin – Kotkaniemi – Lehkonen
Tatar – Danault – Gallagher
Agostino – Plekanec – Byron
Chaput – De la Rose – Scherbak

Reilly – Petry
Mete – Juulsen
Schlemko – Benn





Game Report 

The Toronto media are calling it the “super power-play.” And it’s rather impressive.

Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock loaded up the first wave of his power-play with his three best centres: Auston Matthews, John Tavares and Nazem Kadri. To this potent group, Babcock has added Mitch Marner and Morgan Reilly.

The NHL got it’s first look at this powerhouse unit on Wednesday night. They scored twice against the Canadiens. 

“I think they’re going to burn a lot of teams,” said Canadiens head coach Claude Julien. Montreal’s revamped penalty-kill has been less than impressive in pre-season action.

But it was the Leafs penalty-killers that delivered the fatal blow to the Canadiens scoring twice while short-handed. “Mitch [Marner] on the penalty kill was dynamic,” said Babcock.

Jeff Petry coughed up the puck twice on the same power-play to gift wrap two goals to the opposition, which was the difference in this game. 

Artturi Lehkonen continues to be the Canadiens best forward in the pre-season. But given the expectations coming in, Jesperi Kotkaniemi has deservedly been the talk of Montreal.

Tonight against the best that the Leafs have to deploy, Matthews, Tavares and Kadri, Kotkaniemi had an impressive performance. Afterwards, Julien said that it would be difficult to keep the 18-year-old out of the opening night lineup.

That’s not a guarantee but a rather bold statement from the Habs head coach with one pre-season game left on Saturday against the Ottawa Senators.


▲  Artturi Lehkonen, Carey Price, Jesperi Kotkaniemi

▼  Michael Chaput, Jeff Petry

36 Shots 26
45 Face-offs 55
2-for-4 Power Play 2-for-6
14 Penalty Minutes 10
23 Hits 16
  Corsi For  
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens (4-2-0) 1 1 1 3
 Maple Leafs (5-1-0) 1 1 3 5
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL: Tatar (2)-PPG, Gallagher (2), Schlemko (1)-PPG
  • TOR: Kadri (1)-PPG, Matthews (3)-PPG, Marner (2)-SHG, Kapanen (2)-SHG, Marleau (1)
  • MTL: Price (L) 
  • TOR: Andersen (W) 
 NHL Three Stars

  1. Mitch Marner  TOR
  2. Victor Mete  MTL
  3. Auston Matthews  TOR

 Video Highlights 
 Post-game Press Conference
Claude Julien

  • “The way [Jesperi] Kotkaniemi is handling himself, it’s hard for me to say he won’t be on our team.”

Noah Juulsen

  • “As a group we played well 5-on-5, but we need to clean up our special teams. That was the biggest thing to take away from tonight.”

Quotes courtesy of

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