Russ Courtnall's goal with eight minutes left last night enabled the Toronto Maple Leafs to win for the first time in their last 11 games, 6-4, over the Canadiens in Montreal.
At 4-11-3, the Maple Leafs vacated the basement of the Norris Division, one point ahead of the idle Detroit Red Wings. Montreal hadn't lost at home this season and had gone four games without losing.
Courtnall, parked on the lip of the crease with the score 4-4, took Walt Poddubny's pass from behind the net and flipped the puck over Steve Penney's glove shoulder. Bill Derlago made it 6-4, scoring into an empty net with 32 seconds to play.
Jim Korn had given Toronto a 4-3 lead at 2:18 of the third period and Montreal came back to tie at 6:15 when Ryan Walter converted Larry Robinson's rebound on a power play.
Earlier Robinson got his 500th career assist, the fourth Canadien and 29th NHL player to do so.
The Maple Leafs took a 2-0 lead in the first period. Poddubny broke up a Canadiens' rush at the blueline and fed Miroslav Frycer, who streaked in on a breakaway and beat Penney. Six minutes later, rookie defenseman Al Iafrate struck from the blueline for his first NHL goal.
After Montreal closed to 3-2, Pierre Mondou tied the score at 11:52 of the middle session.