SPORTS

NHL: 4 stories from Saturday night

11/30/2014 01:58 EST | Updated 01/29/2015 05:59 EST
The Toronto Maple Leafs had their way with the Vancouver Canucks, while the Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and Calgary Flames all suffered disappointing loses.

Here are four stories from Saturday night in the NHL.

Leafs still perfect when they score first

The Toronto Maple Leafs (14-9-3) remained undefeated when they score first after defeating the Vancouver Canucks (18-8-1) by an impressive 5-2 score at Air Canada Centre. They are now 6-0-0 when they put the puck in the net first.

The Leafs' Jake Gardiner got the boys on the board early, scoring an unassisted goal less than five minutes into the first. Toronto followed up less than a minute later with a goal from Richard Panik, staking the Leafs to a  2-0 lead.

The offence kept coming for the Leafs, who added two more goals in the second, one from Peter Holland and one from Joffrey Lupul, before the Canucks decided to switch netminders.

Vancouver's goalie Ryan Miller had a disappointing outing, letting in four goals on the 14 shots he faced. Miller has been a big part of the Canucks' strong play of late, posting a 16-4 record.  His replacement, Eddie Lack, stopped all 13 shots he faced.

The Leafs last goal came in the final minutes when David Clarkson scored into the empty net.

Tyler Seguin leads Dallas past star-struck Canadiens

What is happening to the Montreal Canadiens? After a furious start to the season, the Habs ​(17-10-2) have been slumping, going 4-6-1 in their last 11 games including a third straight loss Saturday after a 4-1 defeat to the Dallas Stars (10-12-5). Montreal has gone from first in the Eastern conference to fifth.   

Montreal didn't look like a first-place team against the Stars. Dallas' Tyler Seguin scored two goals and an assist against the Habs to lead the effort in Texas. Seguin leads the NHL with 21 goals this season.

One bright point for the Canadiens came early in the third when rookie forward Sven Andrighetto scored his first NHL goal in his first NHL game. Max Pacioretty was the last Habs player to score his first NHL goal in his first NHL game on Jan. 2, 2009 against the New Jersey Devils.

Andrighetto sure wasn't expecting such a milestone Saturday. The young player was on the ice with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL Friday night before flying to Dallas Saturday morning for his big debut. On his 10th shift in the NHL, the Swiss-born Andrighetto put one in the net on a pass from Tomas Plekanec.

At least one Canadien is smiling tonight.

Senators drop a close one to the Penguins

It went down to the wire in Pittsburgh where the Ottawa Senators (10-11-5) lost a tough one to the Penguins (18-6-2). With less than two minutes to go, Pittsburgh's Christian Ehrhoff scored the winner, allowing the Penguins to take the win 3-2. Sidney Crosby sent Ehrhoff the puck for his league-leading 25th assist. His 34 points make him No. 2 in the NHL.

The Senators have lost five in a row with a dismal 2-7-1 record over their last 10 games. The record is not much better looking at their last 20 games where they posted a 6-10-4 record. With Saturday night's performance, the Sens hold onto 11th place in the Eastern conference.

There were a few good moments for the Senators. Ottawa's David Legwand scored on a deflection from team captain Erik Karlsson to tie the game at one during the second.

The Senators even took the lead with a goal from Mika Zibanejad later in the second, going up 2-1.

But that was about it. Maybe next time Ottawa.

Sharks end Flames' winning streak

The Calgary Flames (17-9-2) entered Saturday's game against the San Jose Sharks (14-10-4) with four consecutive wins but the streak was destined to end. The Sharks edged Calgary 3-2, extending the team's winning streak to four. It's the first time San Jose has won four in a row this season.

Despite the loss, the Flames have been playing great lately, going 8-3-0 over the last 11 games. They hold on to the third-place spot in the Pacific Division.

Johnny Gaudreau showed the importance of staying in front of the net by tucking home the tying goal with just over two minutes to go in the second.

Things looked up for Calgary near the end when, with 1:19 to go in the third, the Flames went on the power play on a tripping penalty by Justin Braun. Despite the man advantage, it was all over for Calgary with San Jose goalie Antti Niemi keeping the Flames off the board during the final moments of the game. Niemi stopped 33 shots against Calgary.

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