Canadiens blow lead but down Leafs in shootout
MONTREAL - Mike Cammalleri and Scott Gomez scored in a shootout to lift the Montreal Canadiens to a chippy 5-4 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs after blowing a two-goal lead in the third period Saturday night.
The Canadiens led 4-2 midway through the third, but Alexei Ponikarovsky's second of the game and a last-minute score from Tomas Kaberle tied it with 54 seconds left in regulation time.
Both Montreal shooters beat Vesa Toskala in the shootout while Jaroslav Halak stopped both Lee Stempniak and Kaberle in Toronto's first shootout of the season.
Kaberle also had three assists and now has 13 points in his last five games, including a five-point game Oct. 26 against Anaheim.
Wearing their brightly striped vintage jerseys from 1912-13, the Canadiens got goals from Glen Metropolit, Guillaume Latendresse and Hal Gill in the second period and Roman Hamrlik in the third.
Ponikarovsky, with two, and Stempniak scored for Toronto (1-7-4), which ended a five-game road trip with a 1-1-3 record.
Alexei Ponikarovsky, with two, and Lee Stempniak scored for the Leafs (1-8-3), which ended a five-game road trip with a 1-2-2 record.
After a sloppy but uneventful first period, Ponikarovsky got things started when he banged in Kaberle's rebound on a power play 1:12 into the second.
But Metropolit, who has eight points in eight games this season, got it back 1:15 later as he banked a wrist shot in off Toskala from a sharp angle.
Latendresse followed in to score on Tomas Plekanec's rebound at 12:24 and former Leaf Gill scored his first goal since joining Montreal in the summer as his point shot went in off Leafs defenceman Francois Beauchemin, who was bumped on the play by Cammalleri.
Beauchemin went after Cammalleri and out of the ensuing skirmish, Gill was among the three players who went to the penalty box.
Stempniak closed the gap to 3-2 with 4:44 left in the period on a point shot that beat Jaroslav Halak cleanly.
Hamrlik was at the far post to put in a Scott Gomez shot just after a power play ended at 9:50 of the third period.
The crowd was singing Na-Na-Na Goodbye when Ponikarovsky picked the top corner from the left wing for his second of the game with 3:28 left to play.
The Leafs called a time-out with one minute left and sent out six attackers. Kaberle's point shot went off Jaroslav Spacek's skate and slid inside the far post to tie the game.