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LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:18 AM ET

 The season isn't over yet, but Chad Kilger already is ahead of the game.

  Had he stayed with the Montreal Canadiens, he'd have been eliminated Thursday night and almost certainly not playing the vital role he has found with the Maple Leafs, who picked him up from the Habs on waivers on March 9.

 But Kilger took no joy in Montreal being swept in the second round by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

 "They played really well down the stretch and put themselves in a good situation (upsetting the Boston Bruins)," Kilger said yesterday. "Unfortunately, they ran into a very good team.

 "As I said when I got here, it's a great opportunity. We have a team woth a lot of character and I'm happy to be here. The only other time I was this far in the playoffs was 2002 when Montreal went two rounds.

 PETER AND PELLE

 Ex-Leaf and Philadelphia Flyer Peter Zezel recently took the Toronto midget team he coaches to Sweden where they visited the grave of former Philly teammate Pelle Lindbergh.

 "It was very emotional," Zezel told the Philadelphia Daily News. "It's something I always wanted to do. I took my time because I wanted them to learn the effects of drinking and driving."

 The goaltender crashed his sports car into a concrete wall in New Jersey in 1985.

 LOOSE LEAFS

 Joe Nieuwendyk was asked what contributions he was making while sitting out with an injury. "Well, my three-year-old daughter (Tyra) had her birthday (Thursday) so I had a lot of responsibility there. But the guys who aren't playing are just as important. It takes everyone to win this thing." ... Defenceman Ken Klee played in his 10th playoff game of the season last night, a career high.

 LEAFS INJURIES

 JOE NIEUWENDYK

 Back, day to day

 OWEN NOLAN

 Right knee, out indefinitely


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