The Toronto Maple Leafs' goaltending tandem of Jonas Gustavsson and backup Joey MacDonald combined to shut out the Canadiens 3-0 on Tuesday in Montreal.
MacDonald made 17 second- and third-period saves after Gustavsson was sent to hospital as a precaution during the first intermission. He was expected to remain there overnight before returning to Toronto to be examined by a cardiologist.
Earlier this year, the Swedish goalie underwent a medical procedure known as a cardiac ablation to correct an elevated heart rate.
Toronto general manager Brian Burke said Gustavsson is expected to be OK. "We're just being ultra-cautious," Burke said.
Leafs coach Ron Wilson told reporters after the game that Gustavsson's heart rate went up during a Montreal power play early in the first and "came down on its own in between periods."
The Maple Leafs' Phil Kessel set up goals by Matt Stajan and Jeff Finger, while Colton Orr scored the winner 9:24 into the first period. Montreal's Carey Price stopped 28 shots as his Canadiens (12-13-2) lost their second game in a row.
The game started out with home team dominating early on, outshooting the Maple Leafs 7-1 at one point.
Montreal's best chance came off a one-time chance from Mike Cammalleri to Tomas Plekanec, but Gustavsson stopped them cold with some great post-to-post work.
Less than nine minutes into the period, the tide began to turn as the Leafs got their first good opportunity when Tomas Kaberle sprang Kessel on a breakaway, but the Toronto sniper fired wide.
Bruiser scores game-winner
The Leafs' Orr was the last player you could possibly imagine breaking the goal-scoring drought his team faced since being shut out by Buffalo the night before, but the tough guy was the beneficiary of a good puck rush by Kaberle.
The defenceman skated to the right corner of the Canadiens zone and threw the puck to the front of the net, where Orr knocked it into a wide-open cage for the eventual game-winner.
A shot from Finger got past Price 3:27 later to push the lead to 2-0. Finger scored his second of the season thanks to Kessel, who gained the zone, eluded the Habs defence and slipped the puck back to the point before heading to the net to set a screen on the Montreal goalie.
"It was a difficult night," Canadiens coach Jacques Martin said. "Sometimes you have a few guys who aren't playing to their potential, but tonight we had trouble finding one who was."
The Maple Leafs fired a bit of a curveball to begin the middle period as MacDonald started in place of Gustavsson.
"As soon as I heard that, when the trainer came, I already got Joey going no matter what his heart was going to do because I'm not going to be responsible for someone keeling over during a game," Wilson said. "A game is not that important."
MacDonald continued what was started by stonewalling the Habs, turning away 18 shots over the final two periods as most of the action was at the other end of the ice.
A quarter of the way through the middle period, the Montreal players seemed to collapse upon their own net under pressure from the Toronto fourth-line forecheck. This pressure forced Price to make a couple of key saves — including using his glove to halt a dangling Lee Stempniak — to keep it a two-goal game.
That is, until two minutes later when Matt Stajan pushed it to 3-0 off a beautifully executed breakaway chance set up by a flip pass from Kessel. After launching past Montreal defencemen Jaroslav Spacek and Roman Hamrlik, Stajan corralled the puck in the high slot before going top shelf over Price's glove.
"Stajan basically just cheated up," Spacek said. "He didn't stay with me at all, he just cheated up and Kessel saw him wide open behind us. It's tough to chase someone if he's 40 feet ahead of you."
Nik Hagman had a chance to make it 4-0 early in the third, but missed an empty net during a power play chance off Max Pachioretty's second penalty of the game.
MacDonald was tested the most during his stint in the net during a penalty to defenceman Luke Schenn midway through the final frame — but the native of Pictou, N.S., was able to keep cool under power-play pressure and shut the door the rest of the way on the Canadiens, including a save that bounced of his mask late in the third.