Kadri comes up big


, Last Updated: 11:35 PM ET

Nazem Kadri prides himself as a player who doesnt show fear at the big-league level.

But he was a nervous nelly as he lined up for his shootout attempt and a chance to extend the tenuous Maple Leafs playoff lifeline.

How can you not be (jumpy)?, Kadri said. Im 20-years-old going against the best goalie in the league. From the time I stepped on the ice for the shot to when the referee blew the whistle, it seemed like 10 or 15 minutes. There are going to be some nerves there, but I overcame it.

After Phil Kessel had been stopped by Tim Thomas, Kadri swooped in, dangled the puck with little real estate to spare and then deposited a backhand over Thomas. Coach Ron Wilson selected Kadri in part because he has some tricks in his shootout bag.

I went down, saw that Thomas moved his glove down as well and I was fortunate enough to go upstairs, Kadri said. I didnt know exactly what I was goining to do, but I guess I got lucky.

Thomas gave Kadri credit, but the Leafs have beaten him three times this year.

I dont get to watch them all year long, but if they played the same way every game against us, Id expect them to be in a better spot.