Metropolit at home with Habs

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

On a night when the supposed bigger and meaner team was out-hit and the more offensive-minded club was badly outshot, why not a guy born next to Maple Leaf Gardens getting a big goal for the visiting Montreal Canadiens?

The Habs took the fizz out of the Air Canada Centre party with a 4-3 overtime victory, despite being outshot 46-27. Nearly 65 minutes of hockey last night reminded all that just because the Leafs are better this season, the rest of the Northeast Division wasn't twiddling its hockey gloves.

Among those celebrating in the Habs dressing room were much-maligned goalie Carey Price, Regent Park's Glen Metropolit -- who tied the game late in the third on a rare power-play shift -- and OT hero Josh Gorges.

"I looked at the stat sheet before the game and our average height was 6-foot-1, 207 (pounds) and they (the Leafs) are 6-1, 208," Gorges said. "Yeah, they're tough, but we've got guys who can bang. I don't think, by any means, we were out-matched physically. We have a pretty good fourth line."

Montreal had a 37-22 advantage in hits and every Hab had at least one, except Georges Laraque, who contributed a fight and an assist.

"It was a good team-builder," Metropolit said.

The only sour note was defenceman Andrei Markov's foot being cut by Price's skate in the third period. He'll be evaluated today.

Metropolit, now on his seventh NHL team and fifth in the past three years, joked that half his neighbourhood was trying to get in the ACC last night, but he'd forgive any pals for not forking out for a Habs sweater.

"Hey, how many can they buy? I've been on just about every team. Toronto showed some interest ... but it just didn't work out."

Young Price, whose poise under fire has been questioned, silenced his critics for at least an evening.

"Toronto throws a lot of pucks on net, but we did a good job clearing the rebounds. Forty-six shots from outside isn't too bad," he said.

LANCE.HORNBY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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