NHL Game Summary - Florida at Toronto
(Tuesday, December 23rd)
Final Score: Toronto 5, Florida 2
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Gary Roberts scored two power-play goals and Nik Antropov posted a goal and an assist, as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Florida Panthers, 5-2, at Air Canada Centre.
Karel Pilar and Joe Nieuwendyk also scored for the red-hot Maple Leafs, who have won five of their last six games and earned a point for the 15th straight time (13-0-1-1).
Goaltender Ed Belfour posted 29 saves in the victory. Toronto's last loss in regulation came on November 20 at Edmonton.
Pavel Trnka and Kristian Huselius each tallied a goal for Florida, which failed to win on the road for the sixth straight game (0-3-2-1) and has just one victory in its last six overall (1-2-2-1).
Florida netminder Roberto Luongo allowed four goals on 23 shots and was replaced by Steve Shields in the third period.
The Maple Leafs took a 1-0 lead on Roberts' goal midway through the opening period. While on the power play, he skated across the slot before dropping the puck to Mats Sundin near the right circle. Sundin then slid a pass back to Roberts, who redirected the disc into the net at the left post.
Later in the first, with 5:26 to play, Toronto went ahead by two when Pilar lit the lamp with a slap shot from near the right point.
Florida, however, cut its deficit in half just 17 seconds into the middle frame. Byron Ritchie skated down the right-wing side and threw a pass into the slot before Trnka redirected the puck home.
The visitors' momentum was short-lived as the Leafs regained their two-goal lead on Roberts' second goal of the contest, also with the man advantage. He released a wrist shot from the right circle that beat Luongo to the short- side. The goal, his 13th goal of the season, came with 14:56 to go in the second.
Another Leafs goal from the right circle later in the middle stanza staked them to a 4-1 lead. This time it was Antropov, who made a nice cut at the top of the faceoff area and blasted a slap shot that found the back of the net at 13:50.
Nieuwendyk's eighth goal just over two minutes into the third put Toronto ahead by four.
Midway through the final period, Huselius accounted for the other Florida goal to complete the scoring.
Florida has just two wins in its last 13 games (2-4-5-2)...Antropov picked up his 100th NHL point in the contest...During this current 15-game streak in which they have recorded at least a point, the Leafs have outscored their opponents 51-24...Toronto ended 2-for-3 on the power play, while the Panthers were scoreless on two chances with the extra skater...Shields allowed one goal on just three shots.
12/23 22:38:01 ET