NHL Game Summary - Edmonton at Toronto
(Saturday, February 17th)
Final Score: Toronto 4, Edmonton 3
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Mats Sundin and John Pohl each had a pair of goals, as the Toronto Maple Leafs hung on to beat the Edmonton Oilers, 4-3, at Air Canada Center.
Andrew Raycroft stopped 28 shots for Toronto, which has won two straight following a three-game skid. The Leafs also held a lengthy pregame ceremony honoring the surviving members of their 1966-67 Stanley Cup Championship team.
"It was inspiring for us to have them watch us play tonight," said Sundin. "It was a long ceremony and usually after those things it's tough for both teams to get going. Both teams needed the points. We realized we need to win a lot of games because there are a lot of teams battling for playoff spots. We have the same position, the same train of thought that we just have to try and win every night. We've been doing that."
Marc Pouliot, Steve Staios and Ryan Smyth all tallied for Edmonton, which has lost three in a row and four of six overall. Dwayne Roloson stopped 31 shots but lost for the seventh time in ten starts.
Clinging to a one-goal margin, the Leafs increased their lead in the third, as Sundin tallied his second of the night. The Toronto captain battled with Staois behind the Edmonton net before nabbing the puck and carrying out in front. He finished the play by snapping the disc past Roloson to make it 4-2 at 10:55.
Smyth then made it a one-goal game with just 1:03 to play, as Ales Hemsky's slapshot deflected off his skate and past Raycroft to make it 4-3.
The Oilers peppered Raycroft down the stretch, with Shawn Horcoff getting the best scoring chance on a backhand shot with just two seconds remaining. Hemsky's last chance went wide of the net as the final horn sounded.
Toronto cashed in on the man-advantage to grab a 1-0 lead in the first period. Facing triple coverage in the slot, Tomas Kaberle dumped the puck down low to Sundin, who's one-timer from the bottom of the left circle got past Roloson on the stick-side at 11:59.
Roloson made a couple of huge saves in the final minute of the period, first robbing Alex Steen on a pair of chances before making a glove-save on Pohl's backhander with just one seconds remaining.
Toronto doubled its lead early in the middle stanza. Bates Battaglia ripped a shot on net deep in the Oilers end and Pohl managed to get his stick in front of the disc, redirecting it through the legs of Marc-Andre Bergeron and past Roloson at 4:31 to make it a 2-0 contest.
Edmonton needed just 47 seconds to answer, as Staios rifled a shot through traffic and past a screened Raycroft to make it 2-1.
Pohl then notched his second of the contest to help Toronto regain its two- goal lead. Bergeron failed on a clearing attempt, as Chad Kilger stole the puck and sent it toward the crease, where Pohl quickly stuffed it past Roloson at 11:24 to make it 3-1.
Then, with nearly two minutes left in the period, Pouliot rushed the net on a breakaway before being hauled down by Leafs' defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo. Pouliot was awarded a penalty shot, where he made a terrific deke before backhanding the puck high and just inside the left post to cut the Edmonton deficit to 3-2 at 17:51.
The teams were meeting for the first time this season...Right wing Fernando Pisani missed his third straight game with a concussion, while center Jarret Stoll missed his seventh straight, also with a concussion. Neither player is traveling with the team...The Leafs are 21-15-2-0 against the Oilers lifetime in Toronto...Sundin has 20 goals and 24 assists lifetime against Edmonton...Sundin has six multi-point games this season...Edmonton is 2-for-2 on penalty shots this season...Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in attendance with his son and was a visitor in the press box during the first intermission. He is a native of Alberta, but a life-long Toronto fan.
02/17 22:30:44 ET