Maple Leafs-Canadiens: Bryan McCabe Returns, Conquers Habs

Dino MoriAnalyst IFebruary 8, 2008

It was a homecoming of sorts for one the Maple Leafs' blueliners.

Bryan McCabe returned Thursday night to the Leafs’ lineup following a 22-game absence due to a broken left hand.

In fact, this was also a return to Montreal’s Bell Center.  On October 16th, the Leafs' defenseman collided along the boards with Canadiens' forward Andrei Kostitsyn, breaking his left hand in three places.

McCabe played an efficient game against the Habs on Thursday.  In 28 shifts, he logged just over 23 minutes of ice time and was a plus one.

During the second intermission, McCabe spoke with CBC's Elliott Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada regarding his return to the Leafs' lineup.  The 13-year NHL veteran said it was a great feeling to be back on the ice, but was also realistic in noting that it would take time to strengthen in his left hand.

The Leafs got two goals from Darcy Tucker, as well as singles from Kyle Wellwood and Kris Newbury in a 4-2 triumph over the the Canadiens. 

Alexei Kovalev on a breakaway and Tomas Plekanec replied for the Habs.

In a terrific recovery Toronto was able to pick up the pieces following their worst defeat of the season, an 8-0 trouncing by the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.

The Leafs next see action Saturday afternoon with a home date against the Detroit Red Wings.  Game time is 3:00 PM from the Air Canada Center.  The game will be part of CBC's Hockey Day in Canada, a celebration of our national pastime.