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NHL Game Summary - Calgary at Toronto



(Saturday, March 14th)

Final Score: Toronto 8, Calgary 6

Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Mikhail Grabovski had two goals and an assist to highlight a 14-goal game and spoil a three-goal, five-point effort from Olli Jokinen, as the Maple Leafs outlasted the Flames in an 8-6 victory, continuing Calgary's drought at Air Canada Centre.

Jeff Finger had a goal and two assists, and Alexei Ponikarovsky registered a season high in assists with four for Toronto, which has won two of three. John Mitchell notched a goal and assist in the win.

Martin Gerber gave up six goals on 35 shots but was bailed out by a potent Leafs' attack that included a 2-for-5 effort with the man advantage and seven different goal scorers.

Jokinen continued his torrid pace since being acquired by Calgary from Phoenix at the trading deadline with his sixth career hat trick and second this season. The Finnish pivot now has eight goals in six games since joining the club.

"We've got a good hockey team here. I've been getting chances and getting lucky. We have a good defense but we have to do a better job of coming back on defense. We have a good goalie back there and we have to give more help," said Jokinen.

Jarome Iginla and Dion Phaneuf each posted a goal and two helpers for the Flames, who were angling for their first victory in Toronto since 2000.

Calgary has lost four straight there since a December 16, 2000 triumph and 14 of its last 15 trips to Toronto overall.

Curtis Glencross added a goal and assist and Adrian Aucoin posted three helpers for the Northwest Division-leading Flames, who have dropped four of their last five.

Miikka Kiprusoff was beaten six times on 22 shots before being lifted early in the third for Curtis McElhinney, who made six saves the rest of the way.

The Leafs held a precarious 5-4 lead after two periods but ratcheted up the pressure in the final period, resulting in two quick goals to gain control.

Poinkarovsky hustled in behind the net, chasing down a dump-in and feeding Grabovski low in the left circle for a quick wrist shot that deflected in off Nikolai Kulemin's stick in front, ending Kiprusoff's outing just 1:19 into the frame.

"I coached a lot of games against Calgary, you have to have traffic in front of Kipprusoff to have any success. We did that and had a lot of chances," Leafs' head coach Ron Wilson said.

Jamal Mayers' deflection of a Luke Schenn shot gave Toronto a 7-4 cushion at 6:31, but the Flames got one back at 10:44 on a Jokinen-to-Iginla one-timer from just inside the right circle on what was a shaky effort from Gerber.

Then, with 2:19 left to play, Jokinen redirected an Aucoin slap-pass into the net, bringing the Flames to within one, 7-6.

But Grabovski doused any chance of a miracle comeback with an empty-net score after Calgary pulled the goaltender for an extra attacker, sending the Leafs to a wild win.

Finger started off the Leafs' early offensive explosion with a goal at 8:09, and Toronto scored twice with the man advantage to make it a 3-0 affair after Daymond Langkow was boxed on a double-minor for high-sticking at 8:55.

Jason Blake snuck in behind the defense from behind the net and tipped Anton Stralman's slap shot from the right point at 10:34. Just 26 seconds later, Grabovski set up in front and followed a loose puck to the right of the net for a tap-in off a Ponikarovsky slapper from nearly the same spot.

The Maple Leafs stifled their own momentum, though, with a pair of hooking penalties, allowing Calgary to score the next two on the power play.

Jokinen cleaned up a loose puck in front off an Iginla offering at 11:37, and Phaneuf cranked up a slap shot from the high slot through a double screen of Aucoin and Glencross at 17:28.

After Toronto survived yet another hooking call late in the period, Glencross tied the game at three after firing the puck into traffic. The disc got lost amongst a host of bodies, and it trickled past Gerber with only 28 seconds to go.

"Let's give credit to Calgary, that is a very good hockey team that was playing thier seventh game of the road trip. When they came back and tied the game, I didn't know what our reaction would be so we challenged them to play our game. We got pucks deep, we shot some of them and they went in," said Wilson.

Toronto got back on track to start the second, with Boyd Devereaux deflecting a Matt Stajan shot into the mid-section of Kiprusoff. The goaltender sprawled to clear the rebound but Jeffrey Hamilton swooped in to punch it across the line for a 4-3 advantage at 7:05.

Lee Stempniak led a Leafs' offensive rush up the right wing a short time later and dished to the slot for Mitchell, who put on the brakes and whipped a wrister, short-side, to the back of the net at 12:20 for a two-goal lead.

Jokinen brought it back to a one-goal game with a nifty power-play score with 1:45 to go in the second. Jokinen gained the blue-line with a head of steam, had the puck chipped up in the air by a defender and backhanded the fluttering disc out of mid-air past Gerber.

Game Notes

Toronto finished up a three-game homestand and is 13-13-9 as the home team this year...The Leafs had lost six of their last eight as the host...The Maple Leafs next take to the road for three straight starting in Tampa Bay on Tuesday...Blake snapped a 10-game goalless drought...Toronto signed forward Chris DiDomenico to a three-year entry level contract on Saturday...Calgary ended a seven-game road trip 3-4-0 and returns home for Wednesday's opener of a three-game homestand against Dallas...Calgary was 3-for-4 on the power play...The eight goals for Toronto was a season high...Grabovski has three goals in the last three games...Toronto has not lost in regulation this season when leading after two periods (14-0-8)...It was Hamilton's first goal as a Maple Leaf...The Leafs are 7-3-1 over the last 11 games overall.

03/14 22:58:30 ET


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