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Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Andreas Johnsson (right) celebrates scoring his first NHL goal after putting the puck past Montreal Canadiens goaltender Charlie Lindgren to score his team's fourth goal during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Saturday, March 17, 2018.Chris Young

Curtis McElhinney made 33 saves for his third shutout of the season as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-0 Saturday to extend their club-record home winning streak to 12 straight games.

Andreas Johnsson, with his first career NHL goal, William Nylander, Kasperi Kapanen and Nazem Kadri scored for Toronto (43-22-7), which has four victories in a row following a four-game slide (0-2-2).

Charlie Lindgren made 45 saves for Montreal (26-34-12) as the Canadiens dropped to 1-5-2 over their last eight in a lost season.

McElhinney, who picked up the eighth shutout of his career, got his second straight start and third consecutive win with Leafs No. 1 goalie Frederik Andersen still out after taking a blow to the head/neck area in a crease pile up on Wednesday against Dallas.

While star centre Auston Matthews, who missed his ninth consecutive game with a shoulder injury, continues to inch closer to a return, veteran winger Leo Komarov (lower body) didn't suit up following Thursday's strange collision with Nylander in Buffalo.

And defenceman Nikita Zaitsev sat out a fourth straight game with an illness to round out Toronto's sick bay.

On the other side, the injury-ravaged Canadiens were without starting netminder Carey Price (concussion) for a 13th consecutive game, while captain Max Pacioretty (knee) missed his eighth in a row.

Lindgren was the story of the first period with three big stops, including an incredible full-stretch glove save to deny Tyler Bozak of a sure goal on a power play, until Nylander finally broke through moments later.

With the Leafs still on the man advantage, the Swede took a pass from Jake Gardiner at the top of the right face-off circle and ripped his 15th of the campaign to snap a 13-game goal drought against the league's worst penalty-killing unit on the road.

Toronto made it 2-0 three minutes into the second when Travis Dermott played a long stretch pass off the boards to Kapanen, who blew past Noah Juulsen down the left before beating Lindgren past the blocker for his sixth.

McElhinney picked up an assist on the play after quickly playing the puck to Dermott.

The Leafs netminder had a relatively quiet night compared to Lindgren, but had to be sharp with six minutes remaining in the period when Alex Galchenyuk jumped on a horrendous turnover by Leafs defenceman Roman Polak in front.

Acquired from Montreal ahead of last month's trade deadline, Toronto centre Tomas Plekanec played his first game against his former team. Drafted by the Canadiens in 2001, the 35-year-old ranks seventh on Montreal's all-time games played list at 981.

Plekanec was in the middle of the action later in the second when Montreal correctly challenged for goaltender interference with under five minutes left, denying Kapanen his second of the night off a scramble.

But the Leafs eventually stretched their lead to three with 28.3 seconds remaining in the period when Kadri redirected a Mitch Marner pass into the top corner on a power play for his 28th.

Johnsson then scored his NHL first goal — also his first point — with 4:33 left in the third when he chipped a Zach Hyman pass shortside on Lindgren at the side of the net.

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