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Antropov scores O.T. winner, but Kidd leaves with leg troubles

Saturday, 18.01.2003 / 12:00 AM / News
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Antropov scores O.T. winner, but Kidd leaves with leg troubles
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MONTREAL (Ticker) -- The Montreal Canadiens reversed several unhealthy trends in their first game under coach Claude Julien, but not the most important one.

Nik Antropov scored 56 seconds into overtime and Mikael Tellqvist got the win in relief in his NHL debut as the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Canadiens, 3-2, for their third straight victory.

Julien was promoted Friday from Hamilton of the American Hockey League after Montreal fired Michel Therrien. In the first game under their new coach, the Canadiens fired a season-high 39 shots and tied it in a spirited third period.

But Montreal could not make it all the way back and record its first win of the season when trailing after two periods.

"We were much better tonight than the last game," Julien said, referring to Thursday's 4-1 setback at Philadelphia. "The only thing negative about it is we got defeated. Look at it this way - we didn't lose a point, we got a point."

After defenseman Bryan McCabe separated Montreal's Oleg Petrov from the puck at the Toronto blue line, Tomas Kaberle worked it ahead to Antropov. The Russian center skated into the Canadiens' zone, stickhandled into the slot and wristed a shot that hit goaltender Jose Theodore and trickled into the net.

It was the 12th goal of the season and fourth in seven games for Antropov.

"It was a lucky shot," he said. "I caught Theodore going the other way. It's the most important goal of my career. That's my first overtime goal."

Travis Green and Robert Reichel scored in the first period for the Maple Leafs, who ended a three-game winless streak against the Canadiens. They are 9-3-2-1 in the last 15 games overall.

Montreal got goals from Yanic Perreault and Mariusz Czerkawski but suffered its third straight loss and fell to 2-7-1-3 in the last 13 games.

"There's a new spirit in this room," Perreault said. "Tonight's game was a wakeup call. Every player on this bench came to play. We need energy like this every night. I feel bad for the coach because we really tried to get a win for him."

Recalled from the American Hockey League on Friday, Tellqvist came off the bench 5 1/2 minutes into the third period when Trevor Kidd suffered a groin injury. The 23-year-old Swede was tested immediately but made a sprawling stop on Perreault and denied red-hot rookie Marcel Hossa from close range.

"I was sitting on the bench and I was shocked when Trevor skated over to me and said he had to leave. I think my pulse went over the 200 mark," Tellqvist said. "They called me up from the minors, they told me they needed a backup goalie. So there I am, relaxing on the bench."

"Naturally, I expected Mikael to play a good game," Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. "He's one of our top draft choices. We have high expectations on anybody that comes into our organization."

A fluke goal by Czerkawski forced overtime. With 7:06 remaining, the puck pinballed to him low in the left faceoff circle and he banked a shot off Kaberle's left leg and by a helpless Tellqvist.

It came during a third period in which Montreal had a 13-4 edge in shots.

"We played at the top of our level tonight," Canadiens defenseman Craig Rivet said. "We knew with a new coach we had to do a good job. I'm happy we salvaged a point. We deserve better."

Perreault started Montreal's comeback with 6.7 seconds left in the second when he shoveled a short backhander between Kidd's pads for his 20th goal of the season and first in 11 games.

The first period belonged to Toronto, which had a 14-9 advantage in shots and built a 2-0 lead.

Green got things going at 9:03. Shayne Corson moved around defenseman Patrick Traverse on the right side and threw a pass to Green, who beat Theodore with a wrister for his eighth goal.

Less than 5 1/2 minutes later, Reichel got the puck off a scramble, circled around the net and banked a backhander off Perreault's skate for his seventh goal.
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