Chris Higgins scored twice and Mark Streit had a goal and an assist as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 last night to finish their schedule atop the Eastern Conference. Montreal completed the regular season with a 47-25-10 record for 104 points, two more than Pittsburgh, which plays today at Philadelphia. The Canadiens will claim their first conference title in 19 years if the Penguins lose.
Regardless of whether they finish first or second overall in the East, Montreal will face Boston in the opening round of the playoffs as a result of the Bruins' 3-0 loss to Buffalo.
The Canadiens will host the series opener Thursday at the Bell Centre. Mark Bell scored late in the second for Toronto, which missed the playoffs for a third straight season.