Panthers
Maple Leafs
3 - 4 Final - 2OT
  for this game

Armstrong's SO goal lifts Toronto over Florida

Feb 2, 2011 - 4:39 AM
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Colby Armstrong scored the game-winner in the third round of the shootout to push Toronto over Florida, 4-3, at Air Canada Centre.

Armstrong used a head fake to get Scott Clemmensen out of position and slipped the puck past the left post. Afterwards, Jean-Sebastien Giguere used his left leg pad to stone Chris Higgins' shot to preserve the win for the home team.

Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin each had a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs, who snapped a three-game losing streak.

Kris Versteeg also lit the lamp for the victors while Giguere stopped 30-of-33 shots he faced.

Stephen Weiss and Cory Stillman each potted a goal and a helper as the Panthers lost for the sixth time in seven games. David Booth also scored while Clemmensen turned away 23 shots in the loss.

"I didn't like the first period," said Panthers head coach Peter DeBoer. "It looked like we were still on the All-Star break."

Trailing by one for most of the third period, Florida capitalized on a Phil Kessel elbowing penalty called at the 15:45 mark. Just 34 seconds into the power play, Stillman's shot found the back of the net to knot the game at three.

Neither teams were able to score in the overtime period despite the Panthers' dominance with four shots and held the Leafs shotless.

"It's less stressful to score in overtime," said Toronto head coach Ron Wilson. "You hate to have wait for a shootout. I much rather score in overtime."

Versteeg put Toronto on the board first just 7:20 into the contest when he had a sneaky goal from behind the net. After his original shot was stopped by Clemmensen's leg, Versteeg picked up his own rebound and was able to flip the puck off of netminder's back, into the net.

Florida knotted it at one with 1:54 left in the first after a big rebound at the other end created a 3-on-1 rush, which Weiss finished off with a low wrister after Higgin's cross-pass.

It took just 23 seconds, though, for the Leafs to snatch the lead back, 2-1, when Kulemin released a wrist shot from the right circle that sailed past Clemmensen's glove.

The game was tied, 2-2, nearly five minutes into the middle stanza as the Panthers found themselves on a power play with Jay Rosehill's high-sticking call. With time running out in the advantage, Stillman centered the puck from the right side and Booth tapped it in from the top of the crease.

Toronto responded quickly, yet again, 82 seconds after Florida's equalizer off an offensive zone draw to claim a 3-2 edge. Tomas Kaberle sent a shot from the right point, which was deflected by Grabovski and went between the Panthers goalie's leg for a power-play goal.

Game Notes

Toronto hosts Carolina on Thursday, while Florida travels to play Montreal on Wednesday...The Maple Leafs are 11-11-4 on home ice this season...Toronto was 1-for-4 on the power play while the Panthers were 2-for-4.