Rare shootout magic for Leafs

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:07 AM ET

MONTREAL -- The fans at the Bell Centre were screaming and the seats were shaking.

And all Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice could do was shake his head.

Standing behind the bench in Montreal for the first time during the regular season as part of the storied Maple Leafs-Canadiens rivalry, he could not believe what was happening.

His team had peppered Habs goalie David Aebischer with 51 shots, yet found itself tied 4-4 heading into the cursed shootout.

"The place was so electric, and we just felt like we really deserved to win this game," Maurice said.

Habs coach GuyCarbonneau felt the same way.

"They looked like the Buffalo Sabres out there, they were skating so fast," Carbonneau said.

Now the momentum appeared to be in the Habs favour. The Leafs, after all, were just 1-3 in shootouts this season and 4-10 all time, including a 3-2 loss to the Canadiens earlier this month.

Fortunately for Maurice, goalie J-S Aubin and Kyle Wellwood came in to save the day.

After Tomas Kaberle and Sergei Samsonov scored on each team's opening shot, the next 10 shooters were foiled.

Then came Wellwood, whose nifty deke to the glove side of Aebischer put the Leafs in front.

"I wasn't nervous," the second-year forward said. "When I played for the Baby Leafs, we were the best team at it.

'DEFINITELY EXCITING'

"It was definitely exciting. I had a really good feeling before I scored. I've scored with that move many times. I just thought it was time to use it again."

The Habs had the chance to equalize, only to have Aubin stop Alexander Perezhogin.

It was a big night for Aubin, who had many family members and friends watching him.

"In practice, I noticed I was skating back too quickly and that gave the shooters the advantage," Aubin said. "I just decided I was going to be a bit more aggressive."

It proved to be a successful tactic.

"I wasn't nervous," he said. "It was fun. How could you not enjoy a moment like that?"

Fourteen players participated in the shootout before the game was decided.


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