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Lumme latest Leaf loss

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
by John McCauley

TORONTO - The toughest thing to do right now if you're a Toronto Maple Leaf is stay healthy.

Mark Jyrki Lumme down as the latest to battle injury woes after Thursday night's disappointing 5-4 loss to the visiting New York Islanders.

Toronto, already short Curtis Joseph, Dmitry Yushkevich, Gary Roberts and Mikael Renberg, learned it will be without Lumme until at least after Saturday's tilt with the New Jersey Devils after the veteran injured his shoulder late in the second period and didn't return.

Jyrki Lumme is the latest Leaf to be out of commission.
Graig Abel Photography
His loss was compounded by the fact the Leafs surrendered a 4-2 lead with less than 11 minutes left in the game. A crucial 5-on-3 advantage turned the tide towards the Islanders, who didn't have much going after the first two frames.

With Mats Sundin and Garry Valk in the box, Roman Hamrlik got them within a goal. Seconds after the final advantage ended, Mark Parrish tied things up. The momentum had shifted and the Leafs weren't able to get it back.

"It's tough to kill a 5-on-3 but it's part of the game. We got a few penalties and we didn't kill them off. That's basically the game," Corey Schwab said after making 17 saves in the loss. "We lost the game. We're going to have to learn something from it and move on."

Parrish scored the game-winner, his second of the game and period, a few minutes later.

"We gave up three goals in the third period and that can't be acceptable even if we played short-handed for 20 minutes," Coach Pat Quinn said.

The Leafs had plenty of time to make the game interesting but Robert Reichel took a retaliation penalty in the waning the minutes of the game to pretty much ice any opportunity to salvage the night.

"It wasn't much of a slash," Reichel said. "(The Islanders player) punched me right in the face."

The Leafs have more to worry about than not taking advantage of an off night by their Eastern Conference competitors, both Boston and Philadelphia lost. Toronto's lineup is depleting with each passing game. Quinn only has so many options available to him but the most likely scenario for Saturday is to have Wade Belak play defence and call up a forward.

"It has been the sort of run that makes you shake your head," Quinn said. "I haven't really checked the injury listings of the other clubs but I'm guessing some other clubs are facing the same thing, maybe not quite as bad as us."

Quinn said if Renberg is able to play a callup won't be needed but if the hamstring-plagued forward can't go he'll have to make another roster move.

Toronto wants to put this debacle in the memory bank to avoid a repeat performance, but there were some positives. Alyn McCauley, Belak and Valk had a great game generating chances. Belak and McCauley both hit the post within 10 seconds of one another in the first period.

Paul Healey had another good night, scoring in his second straight game on a nice feed from Darcy Tucker. That third-period goal gave Toronto the two-goal lead before the comeback began.

"We've been playing well but we just got into penalty trouble and coughed up two points," Healey said.

NOTES: McCauley was wearing the assistant captain's A for the second straight game ... Mike Peca's first-period goal came after Healey was repeatedly cross-checked from behind, until he was forced to turn over the puck, which caused the scoring rush ... Valk's goal was the 100th of his career ... Darcy Tucker recorded his 100th point as a Leaf.
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