January 5, 2004 Scoring
| StatisticsPITTSBURGH (AP)
-- Joe Nieuwendyk scored a goal and set up another, and the Toronto Maple Leafs avoided a letdown against the NHL's lowest-points team with a 5-0 victory Monday night over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Nieuwendyk, Tie Domi and Alexei Ponikarovsky had multiple-point games to support Trevor Kidd's first shutout in more than two years, helping the Maple Leafs halt a four-game winless streak.
Kidd turned aside 25 shots in only his fourth game this season and second victory. Ed Belfour sat out with a leg injury sustained Sunday in practice that isn't believed to be serious.
Kidd's last previous shutout was a 2-0 victory against Buffalo on Nov. 16, 2001, while with Florida.
The Maple Leafs also played without forward Owen Nolan, who had laser surgery Monday to repair a torn retina in his left eye. He's expected to be sidelined for at least two weeks.
Toronto leads the Eastern Conference with 55 points, but had gone 0-2-2 following a seven-game unbeaten streak. The Maple Leafs are 2-0 against the Penguins this season and have beaten them four straight times over the last two seasons.
Pittsburgh, which has an NHL-low nine victories and 26 points, has been outscored 15-2 in losing its last three home games and is 1-7-1-1 in its last 10 overall.
The Penguins have occasionally been tough on some of the NHL's top-record teams in Pittsburgh, but the Maple Leafs prevented that by opening a 3-0 lead early in the second period.
On all three goals, the Maple Leafs used their speed to create easy scoring changes against the league's worst defensive team. Pittsburgh has allowed 144 goals, 10 more than any other team.
Nieuwendyk cut through defencemen Dick Tarnstrom and Drake Berehowsky with little opposition to beat goalie Sebastien Caron three minutes into the game for his 10th of the season.
Domi also was virtually undefended when he made it 2-0 slightly less than nine minutes later, skating down the slot to take Matt Stajan's pass and easily beat Caron for his fourth goal.
Aki Berg scored his second of the season, both against Pittsburgh, off Mats Sundin's pass from behind the net early in the second period. Tomas Kaberle scored later in the period off Nieuwendyk's across-the-slot pass for his second goal and first since Oct. 30.
Nathan Perrott got his first goal of the season and second of his career in the third period, stealing Caron's attempted clearing pass and putting in his own rebound.Game Notes
Ponikarovsky didn't have a multiple-point game until Dec. 26, but now has three in six games. He had the second assist on Domi's goal ... Toronto is 17-0-3-1 when leading after two periods. ... Pittsburgh was 0-for-4 on the power play and is a league-worst 9-for-92 at home with a man advantage. ... The Penguins have been outscored 52-23 in the first period. ... Kidd has 19 career shutouts.