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Toronto
Maple Leafs
40-31-11
Nashville
Predators
51-23-8

32 SOG
28 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
TOR
NSH
game recap

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Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:39 AM

Associated Press

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Toronto Maple Leafs 2, Nashville Predators 4

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -The Nashville Predators made the most of a special teams bonanza.

The Predators stopped the Toronto Maple Leafs during eight short-handed chances and scored two power-play goals in a 4-2 win Thursday night.

"We just kept skating and forcing them to take penalties on us," coach Barry Trotz said after his Predators went 2-for-11 on the power play. "Our penalty killers did a great job of taking away their point men. Your best penalty killer is in the net and Tomas Vokoun did a great job."

There were 22 penalties overall, 13 whistled against Toronto.

"Killing a lot of penalties is working time for me," said Vokoun who stopped 30 shots. "Penalties are our biggest issue. We are talking about it, but clearly something has to be done. I understand desperation penalties to save a goal, but we took three or four penalties in our offensive zone. On a bad night, we are going to lose a game doing that."

Steve Sullivan scored a power-play goal and assisted on another for Nashville. Also scoring were David Legwand, Jean-Pierre Dumont and Vernon Fiddler as the Predators won their eighth straight at home.

"Our goal is score one power-play goal a game and try to be the difference," Sullivan said. "We want the penalty kill to shut the other team down as we try to win the special teams wars."

Alexei Ponikarovsky and Chad Kilger scored for Toronto, but the Maple Leafs' five-game winning streak was snapped.

Legwand opened the scoring at 14:53 of the first period with his career-best 19th goal. Martin Erat intercepted the puck and skated into the slot with Legwand to his left. He passed to Legwand, who fired a one-timer from midway in the slot past goalie Andrew Raycroft high to his glove side.

Less than a minute later at 15:24, Mats Sundin took a shot from the left circle that bounced off the glove of goalie Tomas Vokoun. Sundin took control of the rebound and skated behind the goal. He moved the puck to Ponikarovsky, who scored from the right side with Vokoun out of position.

"I was concerned after the first period," Trotz said. "I didn't think we engaged into the game very quickly. Sometimes that happens when you play teams from out of your conference. We were playing more of their style. I thought the second and third periods we skated the way we could."

Sullivan gave Nashville a 2-1 lead, scoring on a 5-on-3 from low in the left circle with a one-timer over Raycroft's right pad at 6:23.

Dumont scored during a power play at 10:09 of the third.

"We didn't have much of a 5-on-5 game," Dumont said. "Our penalty kill was outstanding and was the main reason we won. We have to make sure we stay focused in games like this.

"There were a lot of power plays and a lot of penalty killing on both sides. They were really big and really fast. We just had to keep skating and play our game."

Kilger cut the Predators' lead to 3-2 at 16:13 when he caught Vokoun out of position and scored from in front.

Fiddler sealed the win, scoring an empty-netter with 32 seconds left.

"It's frustrating," Kilger said. "I thought we played a pretty hard game, but we ended up in the box too many times. They have a lot of little, shifty guys who are pretty confident with the puck. I guess we had a couple of sticks too many on them."

Notes: Legwand's previous high was 18 goals in the 2003-04 season. Toronto played in Nashville for only the second time since the Predators joined the NHL in 1998. ... The Predators are 29-7-1 when scoring first. Nashville's Jason Arnott has a point in eight of nine games. Sullivan has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 12 games.

scoring summary
1st Period
14:53
NSH
David Legwand (19) Wrist shot - ASST: Martin Erat (36)
1 - 0 NSH
15:24
TOR
Alexei Ponikarovsky (15) Snap shot - ASST: Mats Sundin (28), Nik Antropov (8)
1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
06:23
NSH
PPG - Steve Sullivan (21) Slapshot - ASST: Paul Kariya (42), Jason Arnott (20)
2 - 1 NSH
3rd Period
10:09
NSH
PPG - J-P Dumont (11) Slapshot - ASST: Steve Sullivan (36), Alexander Radulov (12)
3 - 1 NSH
16:13
TOR
Chad Kilger (9) Wrist shot - ASST: Boyd Devereaux (7), Bates Battaglia (14)
3 - 2 NSH
19:28
NSH
EN - Vernon Fiddler (7) Wrist shot - ASST: Jason Arnott (21)
4 - 2 NSH
penalty summary
1st Period
03:23
NSH
Dan Hamhuis  Tripping against  Travis Green
06:49
TOR
Matt Stajan  Holding against  Martin Erat
07:45
NSH
Jason Arnott  Interference against  Boyd Devereaux
11:10
NSH
Sheldon Brookbank  Fighting (maj) against  Kris Newbury
11:10
TOR
Kris Newbury  Fighting (maj) against  Sheldon Brookbank
15:57
TOR
Pavel Kubina  Tripping against  Darcy Hordichuk
19:24
NSH
David Legwand  Slashing against  Carlo Colaiacovo
2nd Period
02:28
TOR
Boyd Devereaux  Interference against  Darcy Hordichuk
05:14
TOR
Mats Sundin  Roughing
05:14
TOR
Tomas Kaberle  Holding
07:49
NSH
Martin Erat  Hooking
10:27
TOR
Hal Gill  Slashing against  Paul Kariya
14:47
NSH
Scottie Upshall  Cross checking against  Alexander Steen
19:31
TOR
Bates Battaglia  Holding against  Marek Zidlicky
3rd Period
05:21
TOR
Jeff O'Neill  Too many men/ice - bench
06:47
NSH
Kimmo Timonen  Hooking against  Chad Kilger
08:50
TOR
Jeff O'Neill  Hooking against  Scottie Upshall
11:41
NSH
Scott Hartnell  Slashing against  Carlo Colaiacovo
13:39
NSH
Scottie Upshall  Kneeing against  Alexander Steen
17:16
TOR
Pavel Kubina  Hooking against  Scottie Upshall
19:55
TOR
Jeff O'Neill  Boarding against  Greg Zanon
19:55
TOR
Jeff O'Neill  Unsportsmanlike conduct
goalie stats
Andrew Raycroft
SA: 27TOI: 59:06
Saves: 24EV: 14 - 15
PIM: 0PP: 9 - 11
SV%: .889SH: 1 - 1
Tomas Vokoun
SA: 32TOI: 60:00
Saves: 30EV: 14 - 16
PIM: 0PP: 12 - 12
SV%: .938SH: 4 - 4