NHL Game Summary - Florida at Toronto
(Tuesday, October 26th)
Final Score: Toronto 3, Florida 1
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Colton Orr was credited with the game-winning goal midway through the third period and Phil Kessel added a late breakaway tally to seal the victory, as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Florida Panthers, 3-1, at Air Canada Centre.
Tyler Bozak also scored while Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 21 saves for the Maple Leafs, who halted their three-game winless skid.
"We dug in tonight and it was a huge win for us, and hopefully one that gets us back on the right track," said Toronto forward Tim Brent.
Dennis Wideman scored the lone goal for Florida, which has dropped two of its last three games and fell below the .500-mark on the season (3-4-0).
Scott Clemmensen allowed three goals on 27 shots in the losing effort.
In the third period, the Leafs moved ahead for good on a goal that was credited to Orr despite questionable interference on the play. A turnover behind the Florida net led to a loose puck which kicked out to the slot. Brent ripped a shot past Clemmensen, who was clearly interfered with by Orr and knocked over as the puck went into the cage. The puck deflected off the body of Orr before it went in at 11:01.
With 2:24 to play in regulation, Kessel's outstanding individual effort put the game away. Kessel gained control of the puck inside his own blue line and raced Wideman through the neutral zone. Kessel turned on another gear and created a partial breakaway for himself before sending home a laser wrist shot from in close near the bottom of the right circle.
"We need to find a way to win close games," said Florida's David Booth. "These are the games that, later on in the season, you look back and think about what could have been."
The Maple Leafs opened the scoring with 41 seconds remaining in the first period. Skating on the power play due to a late holding call on Wideman, Nikolai Kulemin held the puck along the lower right side near the goal line and passed into the goal mouth for Bozak, who lit the lamp with a one-timer snap shot from near the top of the crease.
In the latter stages of the second stanza, the visitors knotted the contest with a power-play goal of their own. The roles were reversed, as this time it was Bozak in the box (tripping) and Wideman who scored.
After several Florida attempts failed to get past Giguere, the puck made its way to the high slot and Wideman's wrister hit the back of the cage through heavy traffic in front at the 14:27 mark.
Despite the loss, Florida has still won four of its last six games at Toronto...The Panthers were 1-for-3 on the power play, while the Leafs were 1- for-2 with the extra skater...It was Kessel's seventh goal of the season.
10/27 01:25:40 ET