November 4, 2003TORONTO (Ticker)
-- It took just three days for the Toronto Maple Leafs to rebound from their worst home loss of the season.
|Ric Jackman works the puck around Pittsburgh's Ryan Malone in the first period Tuesday. |
(Griag Abel Photography)
Owen Nolan collected two assists and Ed Belfour made 22 saves to lead the Maple Leafs to a 4-2 triumph over the Pittsburgh Penguins, who played without Mario Lemieux.
In their first home game since Saturday's embarrassing 7-1 loss to Philadelphia, the Leafs erased any lingering effects from the opening faceoff. They took the first seven shots of the game and scored on two of their 17 first-period shots.
Held without a point in his previous five games, Nolan got things started with a crisp cross-ice pass to defenceman Aki Berg, who scored his first goal of the season just 98 seconds into the contest.
Exactly seven minutes later, Darcy Tucker put his own rebound past rookie goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to give Toronto a 2-0 lead.
Rookie Ryan Malone halved the deficit with a shorthanded tally midway through the second period. But Nolan set up Robert Reichel's power-play marker two minutes into the third to restore the two-goal advantage and defenceman Bryan McCabe finished the Leafs' scoring with 7:43 to play.
Lemieux missed his first game of the season with a hip injury suffered in Saturday's win over Boston. Without their leading scorer, the Penguins were unable to escape the early hole and had a three-game unbeaten streak snapped.