TORONTO — The Montreal Canadiens got back to winning after a five-game stretch without a victory.
Max Pacioretty and Lars Eller scored in the shootout, leading the Canadiens past the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on Saturday night.
David Desharnais and Tomas Fleischmann had goals for Montreal in regulation, and outshot Toronto 26-15 during the three periods. Mike Condon finished with 17 saves for the Canadiens, who were 0-4-1 in their last five and had won just two of their previous nine while going 2-6-1.
"We're in a playoff race, those two points are crucial and we reacted the right way tonight," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. "I liked the way we were engaged when we started the game and we were dictating the game. There's a lot of times when we got good starts, but finally (we) got rewarded."
Peter Holland had the lone goal for Toronto in the shootout, which followed a busy overtime in which both teams had chances to win it.
Toronto's Josh Leivo was penalized with 3:06 remaining in the third period for delay of the game when he took a swing at the puck with his stick and knocked it over the glass. But Montreal could not capitalize as its power play finished 0 for 4 in regulation time.
After falling behind 2-0 in the first period, the Maple Leafs cut the deficit to 2-1 in the second period and tied it at 4:37 of the third period when Joffrey Lupul scored on a rebound of a shot by Holland that Condon could not hang onto. Nazem Kadri also scored for Toronto, and Morgan Rielly had two assists in his 200th NHL game.
"We weren't ready to go and didn't compete hard," said Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock, who regretted giving his team a day off Friday.
James Reimer made a big stop on Montreal's Brendan Gallagher midway through the third to preserve the 2-2 tie. The Leafs goalie got some help when a Canadiens shot hit one post, trickled along the goal line, hitting the other post but staying out.
The Original Six matchup was highlighted by a pregame ceremony honoring Dave Keon and the late Turk Broda and Tim Horton for their inductions into the Leafs' Legends Row. But it took the Canadiens just 1:41 to end the festivities with Desharnais beating Reimer on their first shot after the Leafs failed to clear their zone and Dale Weise, attracting three Toronto players in the slot, found Desharnais alone in the face-off circle to the right of Reimer. It was his ninth of the season.
The Canadiens won their first nine games of the season and cruised to a 19-4-3 start. But coming into Saturday's game, they had gone 4-16-1 since and dropped out of a postseason spot. Montreal goalie Carey Price has been sidelined since suffering a lower-body injury Oct. 29 in a 4-3 loss at Edmonton. The Canadiens were 9-2-0 at the time.
Price's replacement had an easy start to Saturday's game as the Canadiens had 12 shots on Reimer before Condon faced a shot at the other end, a dribbler with 8:30 left in the first period.
Fleischmann scored his ninth of the season with shot No. 14 late in the period, beating Reimer with a shot from the slot after a nifty drop pass by Eller.
"They played like a desperate team right at the start," Lupul said. "They came out and were putting a ton of pressure on us in our own end."
Montreal outshot Toronto 14-3 in the period.
"You get embarrassed when you're getting outworked that bad and you're not competing hard," Babcock said.
The Toronto coach called his fourth line of Rich Clune, Byron Froese and Danniel Winnik his best unit "by a mile" in the opening period.
"They're allowed to be the hardest-working line," Babcock said. "They're not allowed to be the best line."
The Leafs rallied to start the second and midway through the period, Rielly was flying down the flank when he found Kadri charging to the front of goal. The Leafs center redirected the puck past Condon for his ninth.
The Leafs tied it early in the third when Lupul put away a rebound off a shot by Holland that Condon couldn't hang onto.
"They came out in the second and kind of took it to us and they started chipping away at our lead," Condon said, "but we stuck with it and very happy with the outcome."
NOTES: Keon won four Stanley Cups with the Leafs and left the team in 1975 as its all-time leading scorer with 365 goals. He still stands third, behind Mats Sundin (420) and Darryl Sittler (389). Lupul enjoyed both the festivities and having Keon visit the dressing room. "I'm a hockey fan, too," Lupul said. "It's pretty cool to have Dave Keon in here and to watch stuff about Turk Broda and Tim Horton. It's cool."