Hal of a bad game for Gill

TERRY KOSHAN AND MIKE ZEISBERGER

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

Though he provided a spark for his teammates last night, defenceman Hal Gill probably wanted to forget about his evening at work as soon as he got home.

Gill went after Colby Armstrong of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second period and the Leafs responded with three goals, but Gill also finished the match a team-worst minus-four. He also had a team-high five hits.

"Just a frustrating game," Gill said. "It seemed like every time I got on the ice, something bad was happening."

Gill and Armstrong received double minors for roughing at 10:54 of the second.

"I wanted to go and get the hit (on Armstrong) to get something going (in his Leafs teammates)," Gill said. "He elbowed me and I got angry. It's easy to get angry when you are down 3-0. Sitting in the box I could see (a Leafs revival). We showed a lot of character."

The Penguins' Ronald Petrovicky also had an incident to discuss. He knocked out the Leafs' Kris Newbury in a fight in the third period.

"It's part of the game," Petrovicky said. "Hopefully he is okay."

WELLWOOD WORKING OUT

Kyle Wellwood, who had surgery last month to correct a sports hernia, is starting to do more. Wellwood has been riding a bike and said he will begin harder exercises, with an eye to getting back on the ice in two or three weeks and a return to the lineup in four weeks.

"With the team winning I have been able to forget about hockey for a bit," he said. "I have just watched the wins go by and it was easy to be hurt."

John Pohl missed a second game in a row last night with back spasms, but the club does not believe it is serious.

BRIEFLY

Maurice was told of Jeff O'Neill's assertion that giving the Penguins too many power-plays last night would be akin to playing leapfrog with a unicorn. "He's a funny man. That's quite a visual, isn't it?" Maurice said ... The Leafs will hold their 14th annual Have a Heart Dinner tonight at Alice Fazooli's on Adelaide.

AUBIN HAS SPOT SAVED ON BENCH

Andrew Raycroft made his 17th consecutive start in the Maple Leafs net last night but his backup, Jean-Sebastien Aubin, insisted he is not losing any sleep over his lack of playing time.

Aubin had not stepped into the Leafs crease since Dec. 29 in Pittsburgh, when the Leafs lost 4-1 to the Penguins.

"Yeah, but that's just the way it is," Aubin said when asked whether his pride was taking a shot with his inactivity. "I'm not the only one in the league it happens to. It's just a matter of keeping focused on what you can control."

Aubin is 2-4-2 in 14 games and he knows from experience that his fortunes can change at any moment. Last March, Aubin was thrust into the starter's role after Mikael Tellqvist faltered in a pair of games in Montreal and nearly propelled the Leafs to a playoff berth. It's probable Aubin would get the same assignment only if Raycroft got hurt.

"You just never know," said Aubin, whose most recent win was on Nov. 11. "Hopefully (Raycroft) won't get injured, but you have to be ready."

Coach Paul Maurice reiterated yesterday there are no plans to have Aubin start. The Leafs don't have another pair of back-to-back games until Feb. 26-27, when they visit Montreal and play host to Buffalo the next night.


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