January 6, 2004TORONTO (AP)
-- Bryan McCabe made up for what the Toronto Maple Leafs were missing due to injuries.
McCabe scored twice in the third period to rally the Maple Leafs to a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.
Mats Sundin assisted on both goals for the Maple Leafs, who have won two straight despite injuries to goalie Ed Belfour and forward Owen Nolan.
"We have been dropping like flies around here," said McCabe, who saw defensive partner Tomas Kaberle injure his shoulder after colliding with teammate Gary Roberts in the first period. "It was a tough break with Kabby and Robs running into each other. Hopefully, it's not too serious and we'll get them back soon.
"We found a way to battle and stay patient."
McCabe tied it with a slap shot during a power play early in the third, and gave Toronto the lead after Sundin made a pinpoint pass from behind the net.
Sundin was lucky to stay in the game after he threw the shaft of his stick into the stands after it broke in the second.
| Mats put down the Preds with two assists. (Graig Abel Photography) |
"Pitching your stick up into the stands should be a game misconduct," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "It's sort of ironic he sets up their two goals."
Sundin was glad nobody was hurt.
"There's no excuse for that," Sundin said. "I have to make sure that never happens again."
Scott Walker scored a short-handed goal for the Predators, who lost 6-0 to Detroit on Monday night.
Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun was pulled from Monday's game, but he started against the Maple Leafs. He has played in 38 of Nashville's 40 games.
The Predators lost defencemen Jamie Allison (head injury) and Kimmo Timonen (neck injury.) Trotz said both are day-to-day and added that Nashville will make some roster moves soon.
"We lost two defenceman along the way. Basically from the midpoint of the game we played with four defenceman," Vokoun said. "It was a hard game."
Toronto's Gary Roberts received four penalties, including high-sticking, elbowing and interference penalties in the first.
His roughing penalty and McCabe's unsportsmanlike in the second led to a two-man advantage for Nashville, but the Leafs killed it.
"I thought if you have a letter on your shirt you're at least allowed to say one word to the referee," McCabe said.
Toronto goalie Trevor Kidd made 23 saves, including several impressive stops in the final five minutes when the Predators had a power play.
Kidd beat Pittsburgh 5-0 on Monday night.
"We have had guys step in and do the job because of injury," Kidd said. "We don't seem to miss a beat, and I'm stepping in for Eddie for right now."
Belfour is day-to-day with a strained groin, and Nolan is expected to miss at least two weeks after undergoing laser surgery Monday to repair a torn retina in his left eye.
Toronto coach Pat Quinn said Kaberle is day-to-day.
"It was a pretty big collision. Hopefully, he's going to be OK," Roberts said.
Walker took the puck from Toronto defenceman Ken Klee and stood in front of the net before putting the puck between Kidd's legs. That gave Nashville a 1-0 lead at 18:51 of the second.
McCabe's hard slap shot from the circle tied it at 1 at 3:42 of the third, and his wrist shot gave Toronto the lead at 9:44.
Game Notes: Nashville D Jamie Allison didn't return after injuring his head in the first period. Roberts received an interference penalty after sending Allison to the ice with a check. Roberts also knocked teammate Tomas Kaberle from the game when they collided in the first. ... The Maple Leafs have lost just two of their last 17 home games. ... Toronto improved to 2-3-1-1 against Nashville. ... Vokoun has been in goal for 78 of Nashville's last 81 games, dating to Dec. 12, 2002.