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Leafs Crown Kings In Third

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Score Sheet | Statistics

November 13, 2003

LOS ANGELES (CP) - Owen Nolan may be out of the Western Conference, but he is still causing problems for the Los Angeles Kings.

Nolan set up Toronto's first goal with some persistent forechecking, then scored on a power play with 3:31 left in regulation to cap a three-goal third period as the Maple Leafs rallied to tie the Pacific Division-leading Kings 4-4 Thursday night. Mikael Renberg, Gary Roberts and Alexander Mogilny also scored for the Leafs, who fell behind 4-1 on Derek Armstrong's power-play goal with 53 seconds left in the second period. Mats Sundin and Tomas Kaberle each had two assists, helping postpone Roman Cechmanek's 100th NHL victory.

"It was a good gut-check for us," Nolan said. "It was a gutty effort by our team to come back from three goals down in the third. We talked about what it would take to get back into the game. We wanted to get the puck on the net, create some chances and get some rebounds."

Alexander Frolov had two goals and an assist for Los Angeles, and Luc Robitaille had a goal and an assist. Ziggy Palffy had two assists for the Kings, who hosted the Maple Leafs for the first time in six seasons.

Mikael Tellqvist didn't have his best night, but kept his undefeated record this season intact.
(Getty Images/NHLI)
Roberts triggered Toronto's rally with 15:34 left in regulation, converting on a power play against the NHL's worst penalty-killing unit. Mogilny made it 4-3 by stickhandling through the Kings' zone against defenceman Mattias Norstrom and beating Cechmanek between the legs with an off-balance shot from the left circle with 7:18 left.

Norstrom was penalized for holding 54 seconds before Nolan got the equalizer. It was Nolan's 14th goal and 33rd point in 43 career games against the Kings, most of them with division-rival San Jose.

"We've had a problem killing penalties all year, and we gave up two power-play goals in the third period," Kings coach Andy Murray said. "It's tough to win games if you can't kill penalties."

Frolov, who has scored twice in each of the Kings' last two home games, put them ahead 2-1 at 6:41 of the second - just two seconds after the Leafs killed off an elbowing penalty against Tie Domi.

Robitaille converted a rebound of Palffy's slap shot at 13:29 of the period, and Armstrong made it 4-1 by completing a give-and-go with Frolov while Renberg was serving a holding penalty.

Frolov opened the scoring 8:02 in, taking a long lead pass off the boards from Trent Klatt and beating Mikael Tellqvist high to the glove side with Kaberle hanging all over him.

The Leafs tied it at 2:34 of the second. Nolan knocked Lubomir Visnovsky off the puck as he carried it out from behind his net. Renberg got control of it, swooped in on Cechmanek and put a backhander through his legs.

"I didn't like our game from the get-go," Murray said after the Kings surrendered more than three goals for the first time in eight games. "I thought we were playing the game the way they wanted to play. We didn't play with the structure we normally play with. It's disappointing that we got away from that. We tried to work hard, but didn't work smart."

The Leafs had a great chance for their first short-handed goal of the season 4½ minutes in. Sundin knocked the puck off Armstrong's stick at the Toronto blue line and took off on a breakaway, but Cechmanek made a glove save.

Adding to Sundin's frustration was a penalty he received at 12:36 of the first for elbowing Sean Avery in front of the Kings net. That wiped out a goal by Bryan McCabe - who whipped the puck past Cechmanek a split-second after Sundin leveled Avery.

Notes: The last time the teams met in Los Angeles was March 12, 1998. ... Los Angeles Dodgers closer Eric Gagne dropped the puck in a pregame faceoff just hours after winning the National League Cy Young award. Kings C Ian Laperriere, also from Montreal, handed Gagne a Kings jersey with his familiar No. 38 on it. ... Toronto D Karel Pilar, who missed most of last season because of a virus that weakened his heart, made his season debut. ... During his previous 13 full seasons as an NHL coach, Toronto's Pat Quinn had a losing record only once - when the Kings went 23-49-8 in 1985-86. ... Toronto C Joe Nieuwendyk sat out his sixth straight game because of back spasms. ... Leafs rookie C Matt Stajan returned to the lineup after missing Wednesday's game at Anaheim due to the death of his grandfather.
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