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Kubina's two goals lead Maple Leafs past Canadiens

TORONTO -- Montreal defenseman Sheldon Souray still thinks the Canadiens are better than the Toronto Maple Leafs, despite another loss to their rivals.

Defenseman Pavel Kubina scored twice to lead the Maple Leafs to a 4-1 victory over the Canadiens on Saturday night.

"I would definitely say that team over there is not better than us over the last 50 games," Souray said. "We've shown that we are a better team than them. Every time we play them they get emotionally ready. They pick their game up another gear or two and we don't match it."

Mats Sundin and Jeff O'Neill also scored power-play goals for the Maple Leafs, who are 3-0-2 against their Original Six rival.

Souray said the Canadiens failed to stay out of the penalty box and make Toronto's defense work.

"All the things we wanted to do we didn't do any of them," Souray said. "I think it's a lack of commitment and desire."

Tomas Plekanec scored for the Canadiens, who entered the day with the fourth-best penalty kill percentage in the league.

Toronto went 3-for-4 on the power play. The Maple Leafs ended a three-game losing skid at home, where they ranked 30th in the league with the man advantage.

"They grabbed the momentum from us with those three power-play goals," Montreal captain Saku Koivu said. "They do play well against us. It seems that their style is tough for us."

Sundin said they enjoy playing Montreal.

"They are fun games to play. You can tell there is always a different atmosphere in the building when you play Montreal whether it's here or in Montreal," Sundin said. "For some reason we play better. Same in Buffalo. We win there. We have a lot of Leaf fans there and it's exciting."

Kubina, who signed a four-year, $20 million contract in the offseason, scored just his third and fourth goals of the season. He gave Toronto a 1-0 lead at 13:29 of the first with a shot from just inside the blue line. His slap shot in the third made it 4-1.

"It's always a lot of pressure," Kubina said of playing in hockey-mad Toronto. "You want to do your best. Somehow you got to control the pressure. I don't mind it. It's good for me. It pushes me."

Sundin, Toronto's captain, scored for the first time in nine games. He gave Toronto a 3-1 lead at 17:18 of the second with a slapshot from the faceoff circle.

O'Neill scored his 17th goal of the season with a shot from blue line at 14:48 of the first. Before the game, Toronto coach Paul Maurice said he needed to finish with at least 35 goals to help the Leafs make the playoffs.

Plekanec's shot from the faceoff circle beat goalie Andrew Raycroft, cutting it to 2-1 at 6:06 of the second.

The Canadiens have lost six of eight on the road.

Game notes
Sundin has 1,210 career points, tying him with Bob Clarke for 38th on the all-time list. ... The teams play three more games against each other. ... Three of the previous four games went to shootout. ... The Leafs now go on a season-high five-game trip. ... Toronto's John Pohl hit the post in the second period. ... The American Hockey League All-Star Game is Monday night in Toronto. The Marlies, Toronto's AHL affiliate, have struggled at the gate. Many tickets are available for Monday's game.