Kilger shows his skills

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:15 AM ET

Call it a Kilger instinct.

Despite little outward evidence that Chad Kilger deserved to be playing with captain Mats Sundin, Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn stuck to his guns on Monday. Kilger had two third-period goals in the overtime win over Pittsburgh.

"He's the kind of winger I like, the same way as Alex Steen, he pushes the puck, forces the play and he has speed. Mats plays well with guys who do that sort of thing."

Steen joined the line when an injured Darcy Tucker departed the game in the third period, and the youngster was just as vital to the plot with two assists.

Kilger, despite a 95-point season with Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League in 1994-95, never has come close to duplicating those numbers in the NHL and a two-goal game remains his high-water mark in 10 years with six different teams. But Kilger, who is 6-foot-4, can hit and he has been doing that effectively of late on the forecheck.

"Historically, he hasn't produced a lot of points (25 is his career high)," Quinn said "But when you meet with him and talk about him, he has terrific skills. You'd like to think he can get to a stage where he'll put a few more in.

"His play has been good and it's warranted some ice time. He's responsible, he's forechecking really well and his game's been strong the past little while. A couple of goals looks really nice on him."

Kilger is not sure what the lines will look like on Friday in Calgary, especially with Tucker ailing.

"Obviouisly Pat will go with what he feels is best," Kilger said. "Our line had some good chemistry going and we've won (six) in a row. I'll do as well as I can with the ice time I get, no matter who I'm with."

PEDDIE ON A MISSION

There will be an extra passenger on the Western road swing -- Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. president and CEO Richard Peddie.

"I'm going out to experience the atmosphere first-hand and be a small part of Hockey Day In Canada," Peddie said. "I'm also going to pay my respects to the three team presidents (Ken King of the Calgary Flames, Patrick LaForge of the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks co-chairman Francisco Aquilini). We have a lot in common with those teams in terms of things such as broadcasting."


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