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Canadiens rebound from blowing two-goal lead to beat Leafs 5-4 in shootout

NHL.com @NHL

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.

Montreal (7-7-0) ended a two-game losing run and have won six times in either shootouts or overtime.

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.

Both teams had played on Friday night and it wasn't pretty hockey, but the chanting crowd and the intensity on the ice made it entertaining.

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. It was the 20th goal allowed by Toskala in four starts this season and 23rd in five appearances.

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.

The Leafs went 2-for-6 and are now 9-for-25 with the man advantage in their last five games.

Former Canadien Mike Komisarek made his presence known when he nailed Metropiolit with an open ice hit early in the second frame, although the Montreal centre saw it coming and wasn't hurt. That led to another melee. The Bell Centre crowd of 21,273 booed loudly each time on the ice for Komisarek, who left Montreal to sign as a free agent in Toronto in the summer.

There was a scoreboard tribute to former Canadiens great Jacques Plante, who became the first goaltender to wear a mask full-time 50 years ago on Sunday.

Notes: Canadiens winger Matt D'Agostini, checked in the head in Chicago on Friday night, saw a doctor before the game but there was no immediate word on how seriously he is injured. Greg Stewart got back into the lineup after missing 10 games. . . Andrei Markov (foot) and Ryan O'Byrne (lower body) are on the Canadiens injury list, while Georges Laraque was scratched. . . Jeff Finger, Jamal Mayers, and Jay Rosehill were scratched for Toronto. . . Phil Kessel skated Saturday morning and coach Ron Wilson said this week he may he ready to make his Leafs debut on Tuesday against Tampa Bay. . . Ponikarovsky has more points (25) against Montreal in his career than any other team.

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