Game 676 – Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 4 (SO)

Game 676
Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 4 (SO)
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Centre Bell, Montréal, QC

Tomas Kaberle put the puck in the net four times for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night, though it was Kyle Wellwood’s shootout-winning goal that made his teammate’s big night matter.

Kaberle got his first career hat trick and scored to open a lengthy shootout, leaving it to Wellwood to beat Montréal Canadiens goalie David Aebischer with a goal in the seventh round of shooters and lift Toronto to a 5-4 victory.

“We deserved the two points tonight,” Wellwood said. “I thought we played a great game and I definitely thought we outplayed them.”

Aebischer stopped five straight shots in the seven-round shootout after Kaberle scored on the opening shot. The Swiss goalie made 47 saves, including eight in overtime, for the Canadiens, who were outshot 8-2 in the extra period and 51-22 overall.

The Maple Leafs, who held three different two-goal leads for most of the game, snapped a three-game losing streak. Each of Kaberle’s three goals put Toronto ahead by two.

“I don’t know what to say. I’ve waited eight years now to score a hat trick,” said Kaberle, who hadn’t scored twice in a game since February 11, 2002, when he got his third career two-goal game against Atlanta. “Obviously I’m not there to score hat tricks. I’m there to keep it simple on the back end and get the passes to the guys on offence. That’s my game.”

Sergei Samsonov, who followed Kaberle with Montréal’s only shootout goal, and Sheldon Souray scored goals 2:32 apart late in the third period as Montréal tied the score at 4 after falling behind 2-0 just 4:50 into the first.

“We had a so-so game until the third period,” Samsonov said. “We relied a lot on (Aebischer). He made tons of saves and kept us in the game.”

Samsonov scored his second of the game at 13:44 of the third as Montréal – which trailed 2-0, 3-1, and 4-2 – closed to within one for the third time.

Souray blasted a slap shot past Jean-Sébastien Aubin from deep in the left faceoff circle at 16:16, drawing an explosive cheer from the sellout crowd of 21,273.

“We’re probably happier about getting the one point out of tying the game than we are disappointed about losing the shootout,” Souray said.

Montréal overcame a 3-0 deficit a week earlier against Colorado, scoring five goals in the third against former Canadiens goalie José Théodore for an 8-5 win.

“It’s always important to get at least one point,” said Alex Kovalev, who assisted on both of Montréal’s goals in the third. “You never know, you might be missing one point at the end of the season. It was good to come back.”

Alexander Perezhogin also scored for Montréal, which has only lost twice in regulation in 10 games.

Kaberle scored his first two goals of the season in the first as Toronto took a 3-1 lead. He got his third of the game 12:05 into the second, putting the Maple Leafs up by two for the third straight time. Each of Kaberle’s goals gave Toronto a two-goal lead.

Alexei Ponikarovsky opened the scoring 1:44 in for Toronto, which had lost two in a row to Ottawa earlier this week following a shootout loss to the New York Rangers a week ago.

Kaberle got his first of the season 4:50 in to put Toronto up 2-0 after Ponikarovsky scored his fourth of the season on a power play at 1:44.

The Czech defenceman got his second of the period with 42.8 seconds left in the first, restoring the Maple Leafs’ two-goal lead after Montréal had drawn to within 2-1 on Samsonov’s third goal at 7:39.

Perezhogin drew the Canadiens back to within 3-2 midway through the second with his first of the season on a spectacular individual effort. The Russian right wing beat Toronto defencemen Ian White and Hal Gill on the play, pushing the puck past White before sidestepping the defender’s check and recovering the puck to beat Aubin.

Kaberle, who hadn’t scored twice in a game since February 11, 2002, completed his first hat trick 12:05 into the second, though he had to wait for a video review to confirm it.

NOTES: In addition to the wide margin in overtime, the Maple Leafs outshot Montréal 13-7 in the first, 19-5 in the second and 11-8 in the third…Samsonov had his first two-goal game with the Canadiens. His only career hat trick was on April 9, 1998, in a 4-2 win over the New York Islanders.

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BOXSCORE
1st Period
MTL PEN – 00:30 – Koivu, slashing
TOR PP GOAL – 01:44 – Ponikarovsky (Kaberle, McCabe)
TOR GOAL – 04:50 – Kaberle (Tucker, Kilger)
TOR PEN – 05:33 – Battaglia, hooking
MTL GOAL – 07:39 – Samsonov (Streit, Kovalev)
MTL PEN – 08:12 – Murray, hooking
MTL PEN – 12:12 – Niinimaa, holding
TOR PEN – 13:45 – Ponikarovsky, interference
TOR GOAL – 19:17 – Kaberle (Tucker, Kilger)

2nd Period
MTL GOAL – 10:39 – Perezhogin (Komisarek, Markov)
TOR GOAL – 12:05 – Kaberle (Bell, Stajan)
TOR PEN – 15:16 – Steen, hooking

3rd Period
MTL PEN – 06:12 – Rivet, holding
MTL GOAL – 13:44 – Samsonov (Kovalev, Perezhogin)
MTL GOAL – 16:16 – Souray (Streit, Kovalev)
MTL PEN – 16:54 – Rivet, slashing

Overtime
TOR PEN – 03:57 – Stajan, roughing double minor
MTL PEN – 03:57 – Komisarek, roughing double minor

Shootout
TOR GOAL – Kaberle
MTL GOAL – Samsonov
TOR SAVE – Sundin
MTL SAVE – Kovalev
TOR SAVE – Tucker
MTL SAVE – Ryder
TOR SAVE – Steen
MTL MISS – Streit
TOR SAVE – Stajan
MTL SAVE – Koivu
TOR SAVE – Ponikarovsky
MTL SAVE – Higgins
TOR GOAL – Wellwood
MTL SAVE – Perezhogin

GOALTENDERS
TOR – Aubin (W, 18-22)
MTL – Aebischer (OTL, 47-51)

SHOTS ON GOAL
TOR – 13+19+11+8 = 51
MTL – 7+5+8+2 = 22

ROSTERS
TORGoaltenders: Jean-Sébastien Aubin, Andrew Raycroft. Defence: Brendan Bell, Hal Gill, Jay Harrison, Tomas Kaberle (A), Bryan McCabe (A), Ian White. Forwards: Nikolai Antropov, Bates Battaglia, Chad Kilger, Jeff O’Neill, Michael Peca, John Pohl, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Matt Stajan, Alexander Steen, Mats Sundin (C), Darcy Tucker, Kyle Wellwood.
MTLGoaltenders: David Aebischer, Cristobal Huet. Defence: Mike Komisarek, Andrei Markov, Janne Niinimaa, Craig Rivet (A), Sheldon Souray (A), Mark Streit. Forwards: Steve Bégin, Radek Bonk, Christopher Higgins, Mike Johnson, Saku Koivu (C), Alex Kovalev, Guillaume Latendresse, Garth Murray, Alexander Perezhogin, Tomas Plekanec, Michael Ryder, Sergei Samsonov.

ATTENDANCE
21,273

THREE STARS
Sergei Samsonov (MTL)
⭐⭐ Alex Kovalev (MTL)
⭐⭐⭐ Tomas Kaberle (TOR)