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NHL Game Summary - Toronto at Florida



(Thursday, November 2nd)

Final Score: Florida 4, Toronto 2

Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Rostislav Olesz scored a goal and assisted on another, and Eddie Belfour stopped 23-of-25 shots as the Florida Panthers held off the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2.

Belfour was happy to get the victory over his former team. "Sometimes it doesn't work out and it's unfortunate, but that's the way sports is now. It's definitely nice to have a good game against the fellas and to come out on top is definitely a bonus."

The victory ended a three-game skid by the Panthers.

A Mats Sundin slap shot through Belfour's legs brought Toronto within one, 3-2, at 14:09 of the third period, but that was as close as the Maple Leafs would get.

"They were better than we were, but to be quite honest with you I expected that," said Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice. "We tried to come back and make it interesting late but we just didn't have enough jam at the end to do it."

Toronto has lost two of three.

Chris Gratton iced the game for Florida with an empty-netter in the last minute.

Jean-Sebastien Aubin stopped 39-of-42 shots, but suffered the loss in just his fourth game of the season.

The Panthers took a two-goal lead in a first period in which they peppered Aubin, outshooting the Maple Leafs 23-5 on the way to a 43-25 advantage for the game.

The Panthers broke through Aubin only 67 seconds into the game. Ruslan Salei shoveled the puck towards the goal from the top of the right circle. The puck bounced off Aubin's pads right to Olesz, who backhanded the shot in for his first goal of the season.

Olli Jokinen gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead at 10:03 of the first period, scoring his sixth goal. Nathan Horton wristed a pass from the left circle to where Jokinen stood uncovered behind the right post. Jokinen one-timed the shot in past the helpless Aubin.

Joel Kwiatkowski gave the Panthers a 3-0 lead with his third goal of 2006-07 3:19 into the final period. Kwiatkowski pounced on the loose puck at the blue line, skating in all alone on Aubin. The Toronto goaltender slid to protect the crease in anticipation of a move, only to have Kwiatkowski flip the puck just inside the left post.

Bryan McCabe scored Toronto's first goal -- at 7:19 of the third -- with a slap shot from the blue line past Belfour just after time expired on a Toronto power play. Belfour was shielded from the shot, stabbing at and missing the puck with his glove.

Tomas Kaberle added two assists for the Maple Leafs.

Game Notes

The win gave Panthers head coach Jacques Martin 450 for his career, only the 13th coach in NHL history to reach that number... Panther Jokinen led the NHL in points scored at home coming into this game...This was Aubin's first regulation loss as a Maple Leaf, as he had a record of 10-0-3 since joining the team in March...Belfour has won 460 career games, second all time behind Patrick Roy's 551.

11/02 23:36:06 ET

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