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NHL Game Summary - Toronto at Florida



(Friday, November 27th)

Final Score: Toronto 6, Florida 4

Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Niklas Hagman tallied twice, including the go- ahead score late in the third period, as Toronto downed Florida, 6-4.

Phil Kessel also scored a pair of goals for the Maple Leafs, who have won three of their last four games and have recorded at least one point in five straight (3-0-2).

Alexei Ponikarovsky posted a goal and three assists, Matt Stajan also lit the lamp and Jonas Gustavsson got the win despite allowing four goals on 30 shots.

"Maybe the worm is finally turning for us," Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. "We've been out-shooting everybody and we've got a couple of really confident guys in Kessel and Hagman, who have just found a way to get (the puck) in the net."

Dmitry Kulikov posted two goals for the Panthers, who have lost three in a row after winning three straight. Michael Frolik and Radek Dvorak also lit the lamp.

Tomas Vokoun was shelled for five goals on 32 shots in defeat.

Hagman outworked three Panthers checkers to bring the puck off the left boards and shoveled a backhander home for a 5-4 Toronto lead with 7:34 left in regulation.

The Panthers had to kill off a penalty to Stephen Weiss with 1:40 remaining in regulation, but pulled Vokoun to create even manpower. Despite several quality chances in the final minute, Stajan capped the Leafs' triumph with an empty- netter.

"It's a tough one to swallow," said Panthers head coach Peter DeBoer. "We had a great first period, we could have had more than two goals. In the second period we lost some momentum. Obviously, four goals has to be enough for us to win, and we didn't keep the puck out of our zone to deserve a win."

Florida jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on tallies by Dvorak at 1:11 and Frolik just after the two-minute mark on a power play.

Kessel weaved his way through the Panthers' zone and scored with 7:43 left in the first, then Hagman tied the game after 2 1/2 minutes elapsed in the second period.

Kulikov blasted a shot by Gustavsson thanks to a neat dish by Nathan Horton for a 3-2 Florida edge at 8:11, but Ponikarovsky tipped in Ian White's shot for a power-play score and a 3-3 game with 5:27 left in the second.

Kulikov put the Panthers back on top 4:07 into the third with a power-play blast, but Kessel responded only 13 seconds later.

Game Notes

Florida had won four in a row and five of six over Toronto dating back to February, 2008...The Leafs return home to host Buffalo on Tuesday and the Panthers travel to Nashville on Sunday.

11/28 02:03:20 ET


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