Aubin saves Leafs a point

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:02 AM ET

BOSTON -- Sitting way up in the nosebleed seats with the rest of his Toronto Marlies teammates, Justin Pogge -- the Maple Leafs' so-called "goalie of the future" -- got a firsthand lesson in Goaltending 101 last night.

Just 24 hours after the Marlies had played in nearby Manchester, N.H., Pogge witnessed an old-fashioned goaltending duel between the Maple Leafs' J-S Aubin and the Boston Bruins' Tim Thomas at the TD Banknorth Garden

Filling in for the injured Andrew Raycroft, Aubin turned in a number of spectacular saves and was the primary reason his sluggish team managed to salvage a point in this one.

But the miracles ended just 34 seconds into overtime when Patrice Bergeron snapped home a juicy Marco Sturm rebound, giving the hosts a well-earned 2-1 victory over the Leafs.

The loss snapped the Leafs' four-game winning streak, but don't blame Aubin. The Leafs backup easily was the top performer on the ice and deserved a better fate.

"I'm disappointed," Aubin said afterward. "We worked so hard to get back into the game and get a point, but it's unfortunate we lost it so quickly."

Potentially more bad news for the Maple Leafs: Darcy Tucker left the rink with his elbow heavily wrapped. It was not known if the injury is serious.

The Leafs trailed for most of the evening, thanks to a first-period goal by Bruins rookie Phil Kessel. They might have easily been blown out of the building if not for Aubin's heroics.

Finally, with less than seven minutes remaining in regulation, Toronto notched the equalizer on the power play when Bryan McCabe zipped a shot through the legs of Thomas.

But the Bruins remained composed and attacked the Toronto zone from the moment the puck was dropped in overtime. P.J. Axelsson actually hit the post just seconds before Bergeron's winner.

"I gave up a nice rebound and (Bergeron) was right there," Aubin said. "I didn't see him. Maybe if I had seen him there before I might have changed my mind on the rebound.

"I think the guys are pumped that we still got a point out of it. But we also know we have to come out stronger (tomorrow) versus New Jersey.

"We came out of the gates slow and paid for it a bit."

The Leafs hope Raycroft can complete a full practice today before deciding if he's ready to play against the Devils.

"If (Raycroft) comes to the rink (tomorrow) and tells us he feels great, then there's a chance," coach Paul Maurice said.

If not, Aubin has proven to be more than a competent replacement as he once again proved last night.

"Confidence is a good thing to have as a goaltender," Maurice said. "J-S feels good about himself."

So does Thomas, who just seven days earlier had been run out of the game by the Leafs in a 6-4 Toronto victory. Since that time he has rebounded to post three consecutive wins.

"I'm glad we won but Aubin played great," Thomas said. "As a fan of the game, I was very impressed with him."

Ripped early in the season as part of the Bruins' struggling goaltending corps, Thomas seems to have regained his form.

The Bruins outshot the Leafs 36-24.


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