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Canadiens 4, Maple Leafs 3, SO @NHL

MONTREAL (AP) -Sheldon Souray used the threat of his intimidating slap shot to his advantage in a rare shootout appearance.

The Montreal defenseman delivered the shootout winner after teammate Saku Koivu netted two goals in the third period, lifting the Canadiens to a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

Koivu and Toronto captain Mats Sundin both scored on each team's second shot before Souray faked a drive, cut across the goalmouth, and put a shot over Andrew Raycroft.

"I would have shot it if I had seen something," Souray said. "Really, the pressure is not on me. I think that if I had shot it, or even deked and been stopped, I don't think anyone's really expecting me to score."

Cristobal Huet, who made 36 saves in regulation and overtime, stopped Kyle Wellwood on the Maple Leafs' final shootout attempt, summoning a huge cheer from the sold-out crowd of 21,273.

Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau played a hunch in choosing Souray to follow Alex Kovalev and Koivu in the Canadiens' latest shootout trio.

"I think he was counting on both Sak and Kovy to score, and Huey to shut the door, and I wouldn't even get a chance," Souray said.

Alexander Perezhogin also scored for Montreal, which lost 4-2 at Carolina on Thursday but has yet to drop two straight.

Sundin, Wellwood and Ian White scored for Toronto, which has lost four in a row.

"Nothing's going easy for us right now, I don't think there's any question about that, but I liked the way we started the game," Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice said. "I really liked most of the game. When you look at there's 10:00 left in the game, the shots are about 33-15, we're up 3-1 and we're feeling good, and it could have been 4-1 or 5-1, but it wasn't."

Koivu tied it 3-3 with his second goal of the game on a power play with 4:36 left in regulation.

After Wellwood's power-play goal early in the third put Toronto ahead 3-1, Koivu made a strong play in the goalmouth to score an unassisted goal at 11:17.

"It just seemed like we got more energy after that goal," Koivu said.

Kovalev, whose double minor late in the second led to Wellwood's goal, redeemed himself on Koivu's tying goal at 15:24.

The Russian right wing held the puck on the right side before feeding a pass to Koivu, who redirected the puck past Raycroft.

"It's a great building to play in," Maurice said. "Every time they cross the line, the crowd's in hysterics and then nothing happens, but you get the feeling that they're coming a little bit more maybe than they are."

White and Sundin gave Toronto a 2-0 lead as the Maple Leafs dominated the opening period, outshooting Montreal 13-5.

Huet withstood a flurry of chances early in the first, getting his right pad on Chad Kilger's shot when the Maple Leafs forward swept in alone. He then covered up after stopping Wellwood's backhand at 6:18 of the first.

Toronto took the first nine shots of the game before Aaron Downey put a harmless shot from the top of the left circle directly at Raycroft for Montreal's first shot at 9:00.

White opened the scoring at 9:56 when he took Michael Peca's pass while driving the slot and put a shot into the right side of an open net for his second goal of the season.

Sundin made it 2-0 at 12:09 with a strong effort for his fifth goal. He took Nik Antropov's pass before going wide down the left side and sweeping by Canadiens defenseman Craig Rivet to tuck a shot past Huet into the top left corner.

Alexander Perezhogin finished off a 3-on-1 midway through the second to draw the Canadiens within 2-1.

Wellwood restored Toronto's two-goal lead with a power-play goal 2:21 into the third as Montreal was killing the second of two minors to Kovalev, who had an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty added after he was called for hooking with 13 seconds remaining in the second.

Notes: Maple Leafs C Darcy Tucker was dropped by Francis Bouillon's punch after he tried to goad the Canadiens defenseman into a fight late in the first. Tucker had already been called for charging at 17:50 when he started shoving Bouillon in the corner. Both players were given roughing penalties. ... Rivet left the game in the second because of an arm injury. He didn't return. ... Montreal has sold out 72 consecutive regular-season games.

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