Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Toronto Maple Leafs

Leafs get past troublesome Thrashers

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO (Ticker) -- Mats Sundin and Tomas Kaberle kept the Toronto Maple Leafs from letting a bad first period end a streak.

Sundin tallied the tying goal and set up two other scores and Kaberle added a pair of goals as the Maple Leafs extended their home winning streak to four games with a 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers.

The Maple Leafs now trail the Bruins by two points for first place in the Northeast Division.

"It felt good to come back and win," Sundin said. "It's two big points for us. We're right behind Boston going into the long break."

Sundin scored his goal 71 seconds into the third period to erase Atlanta's one-goal lead. Mikael Renberg skated to the left faceoff circle and centered a pass to Sundin, who was alone in the slot. Sundin redirected the pass between goaltender Milan Hnilicka's pads to make it 4-4.

Effort from Leafs like Darcy Tucker aided in the comeback win.
(Credit: Graig Abel Photography)
Kaberle registered his second goal of the night with 4:27 left in the game. Using Gary Roberts as a screen, Kaberle rifled a shot between Hnilicka's pads for the decisive goal.

"Lately, I've been getting more shots on net and I am getting good breaks," Kaberle said. "It gives me some confidence."

Goalie Corey Schwab struggled in the first period, allowing three goals on nine shots, but finished with 21 saves and earned his first win since January 8.

"At the first intermission, Mats stood up and said, `We're down by two goals. But let's not get down, we can come back,'" Schwab said. "Coming out in the second, I thought I got into a bit of a groove and made some key saves. After a long layoff, you have to battle through it."

Roberts and Jonas Hoglund had the other goals for the Leafs, who improved to 2-2 against Atlanta this season.

Pascal Rheaume, Dany Heatley, Per Svartvadet and Tony Hrkac scored for the Thrashers, who have one win in their last seven games (1-4-1-1).

The teams traded goals in the first 10 minutes of the game, but Atlanta closed out the first period with a pair of goals in the final 83 seconds. Heatley snapped an eight-game goal drought with his 19th. Rookie Ilya Kovlachuk carried the puck over the blue line and dumped it to Heatley in the high slot, where he one-timed it over Schwab's blocker. Per Svartvadet also snapped a goal drought, one of 18 games, 25 seconds later. Svartvadet one-timed a behind-the-back pass from Bob to put Atlanta up, 3-1.

"The way we played the first half of the game, we were concerned," Sundin said. "But we played better at the end of the second and found a way to win it in the third."

Toronto responded in the second period with two goals in the opening 5-1/2 minutes. Roberts cut the deficit to one three minutes into the period with a slap shot from the left circle. Hoglund struck 2:20 later to knot it. Renberg cycled around the net to the left circle and sent a cross-crease pass to Hoglund at the right side of the net. Hoglund held onto the pass as Hnilicka dropped to the ice and wristed it over the goalie's glove.

But the Thrashers regained the lead when Hrkac scored on a wrist shot from the slot 7:25 into the second.

>> Game Stats | Event Summary
View More