Make it three in a row

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

MONTREAL -- The evening began with an emotional hug between a couple of hockey men who go back more than 30 years and ended with another road win for the Maple Leafs.

Eric Lindros, who has been magnificent with captain Mats Sundin out, scored two goals including the winner as the Leafs beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 before an electric, capacity crowd of 21,273 at the Bell Centre.

Winless earlier this week, the Leafs have won three in a row. Toronto coach Pat Quinn, who embraced Bernie (Boom Boom) Geoffrion at the Toronto bench prior to the game, was quite pleased after the Leafs won their second game in 24 hours.

"With all the travel and getting in late, they did a great job," said Quinn, whose charges did not get to their hotel until 2 a.m. yesterday after crushing the Atlanta Thrashers 9-1 in Georgia on Friday night.

"We had (some players) who had a terrific night. Eddie (Belfour), Clarke Wilm, (Alex) Steen was terrific and Lindros was sharp with the puck. I thought (Darcy) Tucker was really good. Right from the start he was willing to go where (the Canadiens) weren't, and he took some checks you would not like him to take. It shows his heart."

The Leafs are a combined 9-for-20 on the power play in their past two games.

Lindros, who leads the Leafs with five goals, notched the decisive marker at 12:16 of the third when he beat Jose Theodore. It was some vindication for Lindros, who also was named first star; hockey fans in the province have not forgotten that he turned his back on the Quebec Nordiques after he was picked first by the Nords in 1991, and they booed him mightily last night each time he had the puck.

"Whatever, we just pop in here, get the win and we're going to head home," he said.

Lindros played on a line with Steen, who had two assists, and Tie Domi. Mariusz Czerkawski was back in after being a healthy scratch for two games. He replaced Chad Kilger, who suffered a bruised right ankle against Atlanta and is day to day. Jason Allison scored for the second game in a row. Alexei Kovalev and Tomas Plekanec scored for the Habs.

The Leafs were given a well-deserved day off today and will have their annual golf tournament tomorrow.

Belfour made 29 saves, robbing Niklas Sundstrom twice late in the game.

"It was a lot of fun out there, a really competitive game," Belfour said.

Geoffrion, who coached Quinn with the Atlanta Flames in the early 1970s, will have his No. 5 retired by the Canadiens this season (as will be No. 12 for Yvan Cournoyer and Dickie Moore), the club announced yesterday.

"He is one of my favourites," Quinn said. "I was lucky enough to be a player for him and he is an outstanding man. I have a special place in my heart for him."


Videos

Photos