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Ryder carries Canadiens to shootout victory over Leafs

TORONTO (AP) -- Michael Ryder gave his coach his first NHL
victory by listening to his teammates.

Ryder scored in a shootout to give the Montreal Canadiens a 3-2
comeback victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

Sheldon Souray and Mike Johnson scored in regulation for the
Canadiens, who lost their season-opener in a shootout at Buffalo on
Friday night by squandering a two-goal lead with 8 minutes
remaining.

Ryder tried a deke but failed to score in the shootout in
Friday's loss.

He beat Toronto goalie Andrew Raycroft top corner glove side for
the win.

"Last night I tried the deke and I didn't have that much
success," Ryder said. "Guys were telling me to shoot and I
defintely was going to shoot."

A loud cheer could be heard in Montreal's locker room after the
game. Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau smiled when reminded of it in
his postgame interview.

"I've waited a long time for his opportunity," Carbonneau
said. "I'm just glad it didn't take a couple of weeks to get that
first win."

The two Original Six rivals played the first of eight games
against each other.

Montreal looked sluggish early, before rallying to tie it in the
third period on former Leaf Mike Johnson's goal at 6:44 of the
third.

Johnson, who is from Toronto, had 20 family and friends in the
stands.

"I have fair-weather friends. They cheer who I play for,"
Johnson joked.

After Toronto's Mats Sundin and Montreal's Chad Higgins scored
in the shootout, the Maple Leafs' next three shooters were stopped
and the Canadiens' next two didn't score before Ryder got the
winner.

"To get that first win for Carbo is exciting, especially here
in Toronto," Ryder said. "The fans are always up for these games.
It's a great win. We're going to enjoy it."

Darcy Tucker and Matt Stajan scored in regulation for the Maple
Leafs, who lost 4-1 in their season opener on Wednesday
night against Ottawa.

Toronto rebounded with a 6-0 victory over the Senators on
Thursday.

The Maple Leafs jumped out to a 2-1 lead against Montreal and
had a number of chances to run up the score, but couldn't
capitalize.

"We just missed the net too many times," Toronto coach Paul
Maurice said.

The Canadiens repeatedly had trouble getting the puck out of
their own zone in the first two periods. However, they took the
early lead on Souray's one-timer from the blue line at 5:11 of the
first.

Tucker, left unchecked at the side of the net, scored on the
power play at 9:28 of the first by converting Kyle Wellwood's pass.
Wellwood tied a career-high with four points in Thursday's victory
and Tucker scored twice in the blowout.

After Alexei Ponikarovsky and Stajan put a flurry of shots on
goalie David Aebischer in the second, Stajan scored on a rebound at
4:38 of the second.

Jeff O'Neill missed a good chance to give Toronto an insurance
goal early in the third as he couldn't elevate the puck after
Ponikarovsky made a centering pass.

"We didn't capitalize on those chances," Toronto's Pavel
Kubina said. "We had a lot of chances."

After a Toronto turnover, Johnson converted Alexander
Perezhogin's centering pass at 6:44 of the third. Montreal fans
cheered the tying goal as Johnson fell backward after scoring it.

Maple Leafs goalie Andrew Raycroft made a sprawling save midway
through the third to prevent Radek Bonk from scoring. Raycroft also
made an impressive pad save on Saku Koivu's one-timer with 5:30
left in the third.

Game notes
Toronto defenseman Andy Wozniewski didn't return after
suffering a shoulder injury on his first shift. Maurice called it a
"significant injury" but didn't say how long he'll be out. He'll
be reevaluated Sunday. Wozniewski collided with a Montreal player.
... Ponikarovsky sent Montreal's Chris Higgins to the ice with a
check in the second.