Skip to main content

Maple Leafs 8, Flames 6 @NHLdotcom

TORONTO (AP) -There was no shortage of people willing to accept blame after the Calgary Flames finished up a seven-game road trip with another disappointing result.

Coach Mike Keenan said he shouldn't have started Miikka Kiprusoff in net. Defenseman Robyn Regehr said he could have provided more leadership. And captain Jarome Iginla said he might have had one more goal in him to force overtime.

It all added up to an 8-6 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

Even though the Northwest Division leaders finished the trip with a 3-4 record, Keenan hopes that they learned a valuable lesson during the past two weeks.

"That is probably good for our team to go through in terms of learning what it takes to have the mental discipline," Keenan said.

"To be able to sustain good levels of play. There's many teams in the Western Conference that have long extended road trips and the ones that are very, very successful have learned how to deal with the demands of travel.

"We're trying to learn that as well. We didn't succeed on this road trip."

If there's one player headed to Alberta with his head held high, it's Olli Jokinen. He had three goals and two assists against the Maple Leafs, giving him eight goals and two assists in six games since being acquired from Phoenix at the trade deadline.

"He's really flying," Iginla said.

The Flames will need some better defense and goaltending to get back to winning consistently. They allowed 27 goals in the final five games of the trip.

Mikhail Grabovski scored two goals, and Jeff Finger, Nikolai Kulemin, Jason Blake, Jeff Hamilton, John Mitchell and Jamal Mayers also scored for Toronto in the Maple Leafs' highest-scoring game of the season.

"That's a really good team that was in the seventh game of a seven-game road trip and 90 percent of the time, what happened tonight happens to that team on the seventh game of a road trip," Toronto coach Ron Wilson said.

Iginla, Dion Phaneuf and Curtis Glencross added goals for Calgary.

"It wasn't that we didn't have an effort," Iginla said. "We were working. We just didn't get it done tonight for whatever reason. I thought right until the end we were going to find a way."

Kulemin's goal at 1:19 of the third period put the Maple Leafs ahead 6-4 and prompted Keenan to send backup Curtis McElhinney in for Kiprusoff, who made 16 saves on 22 shots.

"He'd like to have a better game I'm sure, but I think it was probably my fault for even playing him tonight because of what he had to go through and the work he had last game (in Detroit)," Keenan said. "I take full credit for probably starting the wrong goaltender."

The Leafs raced out to a 3-0 lead with goals 2:25 apart in the first period. Finger's point shot ricocheted behind Kiprusoff at 8:09, Blake tipped one home at 10:08 and Grabovski scored his first of the night by deftly sliding the puck in at 10:34.

Jokinen got Calgary on the board by slamming a rebound behind Martin Gerber at 11:37, and Phaneuf wired a shot through a screen at 17:28. Glencross made it 3-3 when his centering pass went in off a Leafs player with 27.8 seconds left in the period.

Hamilton scored his first goal since signing with the Leafs last week after a bouncing puck found its way onto his stick. He knocked it in the open side at 7:05 of the second and pumped his fist in celebration.

The eighth goal of the season for Mitchell put the Leafs ahead 5-3. The big center stopped in the high slot and beat Kiprusoff with a low shot.

Jokinen cut into that deficit with a highlight-reel goal at 18:15 of the second period. He flipped the puck over Leafs defenseman Ian White before batting out of the air with his backhand and into the goal.

The score was 5-4 heading into the third period before goals by Kulemin and Mayers gave Toronto some breathing room.

However, Jokinen set Iginla up for a one-timer at 10:44 and finished off his own hat trick at 17:41 with McElhinney pulled for an extra attacker.

Grabovski scored an empty-netter at 19:01.

Notes: Kiprusoff earned his third assist of the season ... Alexei Ponikarovsky picked up his 200th NHL point with an assist on Finger's goal ... The Leafs signed forward Chris DiDomenico to a three-year, entry-level contract.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.