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Habs rally, Leafs crumble


December 02, 2006

MONTREAL (CP) -- Outshot and outskated by the rival Toronto Maple Leafs, Saku Koivu's leadership and Cristobal Huet's goaltending led the Montreal Canadiens to an unlikely victory.

Trailing 3-1 in the third period, Koivu scored twice and added another in a shootout as the Canadiens defeated the Maple Leafs 4-3 despite being outskated for most of regulation time and overtime and being outshot 39-22.

"We got some hope after our second goal," said Koivu. "It just seemed we had more energy."

Defenceman Sheldon Souray, known for his cannon point shot, got the game-winner in the shootout after the two captains -- Koivu and Toronto's Mats Sundin -- exchanged goals.

Souray, in his first career shootout attempt, faked a slapshot and beat Andrew Raycroft with a move to the forehand.

"I thought he was going to do something ridiculous -- just bomb it away," said Raycroft. "Guys have done it this year (like Minnesota's Brian Rolston) and it's worked.

"But I should have moved a little more and had a backup plan."


Souray confirmed he was thinking of blasting it from the slot.

"If I had room, I definitely would have shot it, but I think I managed to freeze him a bit," said Souray, who was surprised coach Guy Carbonneau picked him to shoot.

"The pressure wasn't on me. I don't think anyone expected me to score."

Toronto's Kyle Wellwood had the final shot and put it over the Montreal net. Toronto's Tomas Kaberle and Montreal's Alex Kovalev missed on earlier attempts.

Wellwood, Sundin and Ian White scored in regulation time for slumping Toronto (13-10-5), which earned a point but is winless in four games.

Toronto also remained without a win since Sundin returned from an elbow injury four games ago, although this was one they would have won had Huet not been outstanding in goal.
Oh my. I didn't see the game, but I didn't like some of the goals I saw on the highlights. Very weak defencive zone coverage on some of them.

PM didn't seem to like it either.

Sooo... here we are. The Rangers, Islanders, and Senators just 1 win away, and Toronto will be on the outside looking in.

I think this was a must win, and they blew it. They got a point, but Montreal got just 1 more, and Carolina won as well.

They better buck up, or things won't look so good. They're already not looking to good really.
 
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