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Maple Leafs edge Canadiens to snap 3-game losing streak

MONTREAL (AP) -- Tomas Kaberle put the puck in the net four times
for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night, though it was Kyle
Wellwood's shootout-winning goal that made his teammate's big night
matter.


Kaberle got his first career hat trick and scored to open a
lengthy shootout, leaving it to Wellwood to beat Montreal Canadiens
goalie David Aebischer with a goal in the seventh round of shooters
and lift Toronto to a 5-4 victory.


"We deserved the two points tonight," Wellwood said. "I
thought we played a great game and I definitely thought we
outplayed them."


Aebischer stopped five straight shots in the seven-round
shootout after Kaberle scored on the opening shot. The Swiss goalie
made 47 saves, including eight in overtime, for the Canadiens, who
were outshot 8-2 in the extra period and 51-22 overall.


The Maple Leafs, who held three different two-goal leads for
most of the game, snapped a three-game losing streak. Each of
Kaberle's three goals put Toronto ahead by two.


"I don't know what to say. I've waited eight years now to score
a hat trick," said Kaberle, who hadn't scored twice in a game
since Feb. 11, 2002, when he got his third career two-goal game
against Atlanta. "Obviously I'm not there to score hat tricks. I'm
there to keep it simple on the back end and get the passes to the
guys on offense. That's my game."


Sergei Samsonov, who followed Kaberle with Montreal's only
shootout goal, and Sheldon Souray scored goals 2:32 apart late in
the third period as Montreal tied the score at 4 after falling
behind 2-0 just 4:50 into the first.


"We had a so-so game until the third period," Samsonov said.
"We relied a lot on [Aebischer]. He made tons of saves and kept us
in the game."


Samsonov scored his second of the game at 13:44 of the third as
Montreal -- which trailed 2-0, 3-1, and 4-2 -- closed to within one
for the third time.


Souray blasted a slap shot past Jean-Sebastien Aubin from deep
in the left faceoff circle at 16:16, drawing an explosive cheer
from the sellout crowd of 21,273.


"We're probably happier about getting the one point out of
tying the game than we are disappointed about losing the
shootout," Souray said.


Montreal overcame a 3-0 deficit a week earlier against Colorado,
scoring five goals in the third against former Canadiens goalie
Jose Theodore for an 8-5 win.


"It's always important to get at least one point," said Alex
Kovalev, who assisted on both of Montreal's goals in the third.
"You never know, you might be missing one point at the end of the
season. It was good to come back."


Alexander Perezhogin also scored for Montreal, which has only
lost twice in regulation in 10 games.


Kaberle scored his first two goals of the season in the first as
Toronto took a 3-1 lead. He got his third of the game 12:05 into
the second, putting the Maple Leafs up by two for the third
straight time. Each of Kaberle's goals gave Toronto a two-goal
lead.


Alexei Ponikarovsky opened the scoring 1:44 in for Toronto,
which had lost two in a row to Ottawa earlier this week following a
shootout loss to the New York Rangers a week ago.


Kaberle got his first of the season 4:50 in to put Toronto up
2-0 after Ponikarovsky scored his fourth of the season on a power
play at 1:44.


The Czech defenseman got his second of the period with 42.8
seconds left in the first, restoring the Maple Leafs' two-goal lead
after Montreal had drawn to within 2-1 on Samsonov's third goal at
7:39.


Perezhogin drew the Canadiens back to within 3-2 midway through
the second with his first of the season on a spectacular individual
effort. The Russian right wing beat Toronto defensemen Ian White
and Hal Gill on the play, pushing the puck past White before
sidestepping the defender's check and recovering the puck to beat
Aubin.


Kaberle, who hadn't scored twice in a game since Feb. 11, 2002,
completed his first hat trick 12:05 into the second, though he had
to wait for a video review to confirm it.

Game notes
In addition to the wide margin in overtime, the Maple Leafs
outshot Montreal 13-7 in the first, 19-5 in the second and 11-8 in
the third. ... Samsonov had his first two-goal game with the
Canadiens. His only career hat trick was on April 9, 1998, in a 4-2
win over the New York Islanders.