for this game

Panthers down Maple Leafs

Nov 9, 2011 - 4:42 AM
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Jack Skille and Shawn Matthias both had a goal and an assist to lead the Florida Panthers to a 5-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Marco Sturm, Tomas Kopecky and Sean Bergenheim also scored, while Jose Theodore made a season-high 38 saves to halt the Panthers' three-game losing streak.

Phil Kessel had a goal for the Maple Leafs, who have dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season and have been outscored 12-1 in that span.

Jonas Gustavsson stopped 18-of-21 shots before being pulled in the second period. Ben Scrivens served up two goals on seven chances in relief.

For the second straight game, the Panthers grabbed a sizeable early lead.

On Sunday, they could not preserve a three-goal advantage, eventually falling, 4-3, to the Lightning in a shootout.

Against the Maple Leafs, though, they persevered.

Midway through the first, Skille received a long pass from Mike Weaver on the counter attack, outmuscled a defender and beat Gustavsson with a spin move for a 1-0 lead.

Late in the second, Gustavsson failed to settle a loose puck behind the net and scrambled back late as Skille found Sturm in front for an easy goal.

"The puck was bouncing a little bit there so I missed it and then they scored on that," said Gustavsson. "I mean it was a weird situation. It shouldn't of happened, but it happened."

Just 19 seconds later, Kopecky's long wrister found the back of the net, driving Gustavsson from the game.

The Panthers' last three games all ended in shootout defeats, but they insured a comfortable victory over Toronto, aided by Bergenheim's tally early in the third.

Matthias pushed the puck hard into the Leafs' zone and fired a wrister off of Scrivens before Bergenheim drove home the rebound for a 4-0 advantage.

Kessel struck less than a minute later with a snap shot past Theodore, but Matthias tallied late in regulation to cap the scoring.

Game Notes

This was the first of four meetings between the teams this season...They split the 2010-11 season series, with the home team winning each game...The Panthers are 5-1-1 when scoring first this season.