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Toronto Maple Leafs David Booth (20) scores winning goal in penalty shootout against Philadelphia Flyers at Budweiser Gardens. Maple Leafs won 3-2.Peter Llewellyn

Morgan Rielly and David Booth went into Monday night's first pre-season game from opposite ends of the NHL spectrum but both were excited to be on the ice for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Rielly, 20, is eager to begin his second professional season and continue marching up the ladder to the success envisioned for him when the Maple Leafs took the defenceman fifth overall in the 2012 NHL entry draft. One year ago, he was the surprise of training camp when he played his way into a regular job at the age of 19.

Booth, on the other hand, is looking for redemption and a roster spot at the age of 29. A second-round pick by the Florida Panthers in 2004 who became a 31-goal scorer at the age of 24, Booth knows something about being a fair-haired boy like Rielly. But a series of injuries starting with a concussion in 2009 took away all that promise and eventually saw him tossed on hockey's scrap heap when the Vancouver Canucks bought him out of the final year of his contract after a mere nine goals in 66 games.

But training camp means hope, so Booth is as hopeful as Rielly that he will find a place with the Maple Leafs. Given the team's determination to shake up its third and fourth lines and his modest price tag of $1.1-million (all currency U.S.) on a one-year contract, Booth has a good chance to land a job as the designated replacement for last year's find in the bargain bin, Mason Raymond, also a former Canuck.

"I'm so excited to play the first pre-season game. It's really cool to be a part of this," Booth said a few hours before a 3-2 shootout win by the Leafs over the Philadelphia Flyers at Budweiser Gardens, sounding more like a youngster like Rielly than a well-travelled veteran. Then again, he did team up with Rielly to set up the Leafs' first goal, a power-play marker scored by centre Nazem Kadri. Then he won the game for the Leafs on a wrist shot as the final shooter and only scorer in the shootout.

"I was going to do the spin-a-rama but someone told me not to," Booth said with a smile about his game-winner, referring to the NHL's ban of the move this season in shootouts.

As for the game, Booth said, "it's just two practices, right into a game. There's still a lot to work on." But he did enjoy playing with Kadri.

"That was fun," he said. "He sees the ice really well, he controls the play, he controls the pace. He's so good with the puck."

As for his excitement about starting a new season, Booth says it stems more from the state of his health. After dealing with the concussion, which cost him 54 games in 2009-10, a trade to Vancouver followed by lengthy absences with knee, ankle and groin injuries, Booth says this is the best he has felt in years.

"It's good to feel this way coming into camp," he said.

Rielly says he is feeling good, too, as the result of a conditioning program that saw him add five pounds of muscle to bring his 6-foot-1 frame to 210 pounds.

"I just put on enough to keep my speed up and get stronger," Rielly said. "I'm able to handle guys better now I think. That's an area of my game I wanted to improve on."

He is also trying not to think about the dreaded sophomore slump. It is a common affliction for a lot of second-year NHL players but moreso for defencemen, whose learning curve is much steeper.

"I don't think that's true," Rielly said of the second-year blues. "I keep away from that and not worry about it too much."

He also claims not to be worrying too much about where he will fit in on the overhauled Leafs defence this year. Rielly picked up 27 points as a rookie and there is definitely a push from the fans who look at his poise and puck-handling skills for the Leafs to accelerate his development into a top-pair defenceman.

By the end of last season, Rielly and the Leafs' other offensively-gifted young defenceman, Jake Gardiner, were the second pairing on the power play. There is a chance he could see some time with Dion Phaneuf on the first unit, and his two assists against the Flyers Monday night will fuel those hopes.

"I'm not too sure what's going to happen this season in terms of ice time," Rielly said. "I just worry about playing hard and working hard, that's all I can control.

"I'm just waiting to see what happens with [the power play]. I'm going to try my best to make things happen."

Rielly called himself "rusty" after the Flyers game and wasn't prepared to brag about his two assists.

"Yeah, but if you look at them they're not great assists," he said. "I'll take 'em. We came back from being down 2-0 and won. That's the main thing."

Kadri is also trying to expand his role with the team and got off to a good start in his hometown on a line with Booth and Josh Leivo. He scored the Leafs' first goal and set up their second with a nice feed to defenceman Tom Nilsson in the third period.

"I'm from here, I've got lots of friends and family here to watch," Kadri said. "You don't want to disappoint them."

Matt Read and Michael Raffl scored in the second period to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead before the Leafs came on to tie the score. The Leafs, one of the worst penalty-killing teams in the NHL last season, killed off an overtime hooking penalty to rookie defenceman Petter Granberg to get to the shootout. Goaltender Cal Heeter, who was in the Flyers system until he signed a tryout deal with the Leafs this summer, stopped all three Philadelphia shooters to set up Booth's winner.