TORONTO -- Michael Ryder gave his coach his first NHL victory by listening to his teammates.
Ryder tried a deke but failed to score in the shootout in Friday's loss.
He beat Toronto goalie Andrew Raycroft top corner glove side for the win.
"Last night I tried the deke and I didn't have that much success," Ryder said. "Guys were telling me to shoot and I defintely was going to shoot."
A loud cheer could be heard in Montreal's locker room after the game. Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau smiled when reminded of it in his postgame interview.
"I've waited a long time for his opportunity," Carbonneau said. "I'm just glad it didn't take a couple of weeks to get that first win."
The two Original Six rivals played the first of eight games against each other.
Montreal looked sluggish early, before rallying to tie it in the third period on former Leaf Mike Johnson's goal at 6:44 of the third.
Johnson, who is from Toronto, had 20 family and friends in the stands.
"I have fair-weather friends. They cheer who I play for," Johnson joked.
After Toronto's Mats Sundin and Montreal's Chris Higgins scored in the shootout, the Maple Leafs' next three shooters were stopped and the Canadiens' next two didn't score before Ryder got the winner.
"To get that first win for Carbo is exciting, especially here in Toronto," Ryder said. "The fans are always up for these games. It's a great win. We're going to enjoy it."
Toronto rebounded with a 6-0 victory over the Senators on Thursday.
The Maple Leafs jumped out to a 2-1 lead against Montreal and had a number of chances to run up the score, but couldn't capitalize.
"We just missed the net too many times," Toronto coach Paul Maurice said.
The Canadiens repeatedly had trouble getting the puck out of their own zone in the first two periods. However, they took the early lead on Souray's one-timer from the blue line at 5:11 of the first.
Tucker, left unchecked at the side of the net, scored on the power play at 9:28 of the first by converting Kyle Wellwood 's pass. Wellwood tied a career-high with four points in Thursday's victory and Tucker scored twice in the blowout.
Jeff O'Neill missed a good chance to give Toronto an insurance goal early in the third as he couldn't elevate the puck after Ponikarovsky made a centering pass.
"We didn't capitalize on those chances," Toronto's Pavel Kubina said. "We had a lot of chances."
After a Toronto turnover, Johnson converted Alexander Perezhogin 's centering pass at 6:44 of the third. Montreal fans cheered the tying goal as Johnson fell backward after scoring it.
Maple Leafs goalie Raycroft made a sprawling save midway through the third to prevent Radek Bonk from scoring. Raycroft also made an impressive pad save on Saku Koivu 's one-timer with 5:30 left in the third.
- Toronto defenseman Andy Wozniewski didn't return after suffering a shoulder injury on his first shift. Maurice called it a "significant injury" but didn't say how long he'll be out. He'll be reevaluated Sunday. Wozniewski collided with a Montreal player.
- Ponikarovsky sent Montreal's Higgins to the ice with a check in the second.