Fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens have had months to think about Thursday night's season opening game at Air Canada Centre. And in thinking about that game for literally and entire summer, do you think any fan of either team pegged Matthew Lombardi as the game-winning goal scorer?
Well, that's what happened. A shorthanded goal, nonetheless.
Lombardi, in his first game as a Leaf, scored his first goal since April 16, 2010 (thanks in part to concussion problems last season), a goal that turned out to be the game-winner. James Reimer shut the door at the other end of the ice en route to the 2-0 shutout win over the Habs.
Neither team looked particularly sharp, as is to be expected in the first game of the season, but Montreal talked after the game about how one defensive breakdown on Lombardi's goal led to a change in attitude. Until that point, the Canadiens were rolling, outshooting the Leafs 14-4 in the first period and completely dominating the play.
The early second period goal clearly allowed the Leafs to settle in and take command of the game, while the Habs gripped their sticks and got away from the game that looked so strong in the first 20 minutes. To make matters worse for Montreal, they lose defenseman Chris Campoli in the second period to what the team is calling a lower-body injury.