Khavanov shies from spotlight

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:45 AM ET

Alex Khavanov saw the media mob coming straight at him last night and decreed "no cameras ... I have to walk the streets."

The Maple Leafs defenceman then removed his trademark tinted glasses and tuque in a droll attempt to disguise his goat horns for taking the holding penalty that led to the Montreal Canadiens' 4-3 overtime goal. The defenceman was 9:20 away from being credited with the winner in what would have been the end of a seven-game losing streak.

"The puck was up in the air and I lost it in the background of the crowd," he explained. "I didn't want (Alexei Kovalev) to get a breakaway. If I'd seen it, I wouldn't have had to (foul Kovalev)."

Saku Koivu scored the winner just 13 seconds after Khavanov went to the box. It added another bizarre chapter to this year's Toronto-Montreal series, which has seen five one-goal games, three decided in overtime, two by power plays.

Now, both clubs are tied with 52 points, scrambling to avoid missing the playoffs. The last time both teams didn't qualify was 1969-70.

"We each wanted both points (available), because both teams are on the outside looking in," said Leafs defenceman Ken Klee, who saw his own late tying goal nullified by Koivu. "Our game's about winning, that's it, bottom line. Hopefully we're going to start going in the right direction. We need to.

"We've got to be men about it (losing streak) and we've got to find a way to get two points. We can't hang our heads because it's bouncing off our skates going into our net (as the tying goal did off Alex Steen). But those things happen."

There are three games remaining in this season's series, including two in 72 hours in Montreal in March.


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