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game recap

Maple Leafs fall again in loss to Panthers

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

NHL.com

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Maple Leafs fall again in loss to Panthers
Toronto Maple Leafs 1, Florida Panthers 4
The warm weather in Florida did nothing to heat up the Toronto Maple Leafs' ice-cold offense.

The Leafs finished an 0-2 trip to the Sunshine State on Wednesday with a 4-1 loss to the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center. Only a late goal by Mikhail Grabovski with the home side on cruise control kept the Leafs from being blanked for the second night in a row.

The loss was the Leafs' seventh in a row, their longest streak since opening last season by going 0-6-1. They've won just once in their last 11 games after starting the season with four consecutive victories.

Not even a players-only meeting earlier in the day helped.

"We met for about an hour, and hashed some things out," forward Kris Versteeg said. "We came out and had a great first trip. Then we took a penalty on the second shift that took our momentum away."

Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson was OK with the meeting, which followed a poor effort in a 4-0 loss at Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

"It's good. I'm glad they got together. They should," Wilson said. "We had our chances, and you can see the frustration mounting in our guys. We're getting enough shots, we're getting enough chances. It becomes psychological, it gets in your head. Sometimes we're so tight we don't see an open corner, the five-hole or anything like that."

It's only the second time since the Panthers joined the NHL in 1993 that the Leafs have come to Florida and lost back-to-back games to the Lightning and Panthers. The other time was Feb. 25-26, 2004.

Florida got a goal and a pair of assists from Michael Frolik and 32 saves by Tomas Vokoun in his first start since being pulled against Carolina on Friday.
"I thought we played a good game. We were opportunistic," Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said. "We got some scoring from some people we needed to -- Brian Allen got a big goal, Mattias got a goal, Frolik. That's the depth kind of scoring we need, and when we had some breakdowns, Vokie was real good."

The Panthers opened the scoring at 7:42 of the first. Stephen Weiss brought the puck along the side boards and pushed it toward the net. Jonas Gustavsson sticked the puck to the side boards, but Allen grabbed the rebound and his slap shot beat Gustavsson on the stick side.

Florida made it 2-0 on Reinprecht's power-play goal at 15:44 of the second. Dennis Wideman took a shot from in front but the puck deflected off a skate and bounced out to Reinprecht on the right corner of the crease for a tap-in.
Matthias and Frolik scored 10 minutes apart in the third period.

"We're relying on young guys in a lot of key situations," DeBoer said. "Frolik is starting to play the way we need him to play."

The goal was especially sweet for Mattias, who comes from the Toronto area.
"All my buddies, family and friends were probably watching," he said. "It's nice to beat those guys, especially how the last game ended up, and we wanted to win this one for everyone."

Grabovski enabled the Leafs to avoid back-to-back shutouts by beating Vokoun from the point with 6:25 to play. But they still flew home for a Saturday night game against Vancouver looking for answers.

"We're a team that prides itself on working hard and we just have to find a way to score goals," defenseman Brett Lebda said. "When it snowballs, it snowballs. It's getting a little out of control right now. I think we have the guys in here who can make it go the other way."

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report

scoring summary
1st Period
07:42
FLA
Bryan Allen (2) Slapshot - ASST: NONE
1 - 0 FLA
2nd Period
15:44
FLA
PPG - Steve Reinprecht (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Dennis Wideman (7), Michael Frolik (5)
2 - 0 FLA
3rd Period
02:44
FLA
Shawn Matthias (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Michael Frolik (6), Dmitry Kulikov (1)
3 - 0 FLA
12:44
FLA
PPG - Michael Frolik (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Shawn Matthias (3), Mike Weaver (4)
4 - 0 FLA
13:25
TOR
Mikhail Grabovski (2) Slapshot - ASST: Clarke MacArthur (5), Kris Versteeg (4)
4 - 1 FLA
penalty summary
1st Period
03:13
TOR
Christian Hanson  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
12:01
FLA
Radek Dvorak  Holding against  Phil Kessel
17:11
FLA
Steve Reinprecht  Too many men/ice - bench
2nd Period
04:45
FLA
Bryan McCabe  Interference against  Kris Versteeg
14:04
TOR
Francois Beauchemin  Cross checking against  Mike Santorelli
19:37
FLA
Steve Reinprecht  Hooking against  Tyler Bozak
3rd Period
03:47
TOR
Nikolai Kulemin  Interference against  Chris Higgins
08:31
FLA
Bryan McCabe  Hooking against  John Mitchell
10:49
TOR
Mikhail Grabovski  Tripping against  Bryan McCabe
18:27
TOR
Mike Komisarek  Interference against  Chris Higgins
goalie stats
Jonas Gustavsson
SA: 28TOI: 59:59
Saves: 24EV: 19 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 6
SV%: .857SH: 1 - 1
Tomas Vokoun
SA: 33TOI: 60:00
Saves: 32EV: 19 - 20
PIM: 0PP: 10 - 10
SV%: .970SH: 3 - 3