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Road Trip Ends With Loss To Panthers

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers might have found a cure for their banged up, ailing offence - goalie Tomas Vokoun.


Vokoun stopped 39 shots for his second shutout in four games and the Panthers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0 on Saturday night. Kenndal McArdle netted his first NHL goal, and Cory Stillman also scored for the Panthers.

Florida was without right-winger Nathan Horton, who broke his left leg during Thursday's 2-1 shootout loss to the New York Islanders. Horton, who has 17 goals and 29 assists through 51 games this season, is expected to miss four to six weeks because of a fractured tibia. Left-winger David Booth is also still recovering from a concussion he sustained in October.

``We've got Booth and Horton out of the lineup, it's our seventh game in 10 nights. It's a gutsy win,'' Panthers coach Pete DeBoer said. ``Our goaltender was great early, gave us a chance to get out of the first period. Considering the circumstances, I thought it was a real gutsy effort.''

Jonas Gustavsson made 20 saves for the Maple Leafs.

``We worked through the whole game,'' Gustavsson said. ``I think the guys deserved better.''

Vokoun has six shutouts this season and 37 in his NHL career. His last came Monday night against Atlanta, when he stopped 27 shots in a 1-0 win.

``It's always nice when you get on a roll,'' Vokoun said.

McArdle made it 2-0 with 6:55 left. He took a pass from Gregory Campbell and scored with a wrist shot from the right circle.

``It was great to be able to score that goal and get a win, as well,'' McArdle said. ``It's just a win-win situation and I was just really happy that our team was able to hold on.''

Stillman opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 4:36 of the second period. With Tomas Kaberle in the penalty box for tripping, Dennis Seidenberg fired a slapshot from just inside the blue-line that hit the end boards and bounced back out past the net. Stillman, positioned in the crease, poked in the rebounding puck.

``Their goaltender had a pretty good game,'' Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. ``I thought we managed the ice really well, but they got a lucky bounce off the back boards on their power-play goal. We couldn't get any bounces on our power play. You can't fault their effort, they played really hard but couldn't score.''

NOTES:
The Maple Leafs and the Panthers next meet March 23 in Toronto. ... C Matt Stajan left early in the first period after he was hit in the face with a puck. Stajan skated to the bench after leaving a pool of blood on the ice, but returned to the game. ... Seidenberg was also hit with a puck in the second period and returned.

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