NHL Game Summary - Columbus at Toronto
(Thursday, February 12th)
Final Score: Toronto 4, Columbus 1
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Gary Roberts' power-play goal in the second period snapped a tie and propelled the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-1 triumph over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Air Canada Centre.
Darcy Tucker and Mikael Renberg each posted a goal and an assist while Tie Domi also scored for the Leafs, owners of a three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1). Ed Belfour turned aside 18 shots to backstop the win, as Toronto has now earned a point in five of its last six games (4-1-1).
"These are must wins," said Toronto head coach Pat Quinn. "In games like this it's tough to drum up that emotion. That's when you have to rely on being a professional."
Todd Marchant was the sole provider of offense for the Blue Jackets, losers of two of their last three contests. Marc Denis made 24 saves in a losing effort.
With the score tied 1-1, Roberts' 22nd tally handed the lead back to the Leafs 11:44 into the second frame. Below the goal line, he accepted a pass from Renberg, then, as he skated toward the front, roofed a shot up high over Denis, who was down on his pads anticipating a low shot.
Tucker added an insurance marker with 7:21 remaining when he tipped home a point shot by Tomas Kaberle on the back end of a four-minute power-play for his 16th goal of the year. David Vyborny was given a double-minor for high- sticking Toronto captain Mats Sundin, cutting him below the right eye.
After allowing one goal on 10 shots in the first period, Belfour barely saw any action in the final 40 minutes, stopping all nine shots he faced. This was Belfour's first game back after giving his sore back a 10-day rest. He missed three games during the span.
"He gives us such a chance to win. After we got a couple goals it was nice to him a break for a change. He's faced a lot of rubber this year," Roberts said of Belfour.
Renberg added an empty-netter to close out the scoring with just 23 ticks left.
Domi opened the scoring midway through the opening period with his fifth goal of the season. Robert Reichel had his initial shot blocked, but the puck bounced right back to him. He then slid it over to an open Domi just as he came out from behind the net to beat Denis.
Columbus evened the contest 6 1/2 minutes later when Marchant netted his eighth of the year off an Anders Eriksson rebound. Geoff Sanderson came speeding down the left wing to back up the defense, but he pulled up and fed the puck back to Eriksson at the point for a one-timer. Belfour made the save but the rebound went to Marchant, who was unchecked at the side of the net, for the easy put-away.
Sundin stayed in the game after suffering the cut midway through the third period. He assisted on the Leafs' final goal to extend his point streak to five games (3g, 5a)...Roberts' goal was his 11th power-play tally this year, good enough for fourth in the league...This was the only meeting of the season between the two teams...Toronto leads the all-time series 2-0-1-1.
02/13 00:10:50 ET