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
"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
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
"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
"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
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.
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