Maple Leafs
1 - 2 Final - OT
  for this game

Sundin, Raycroft lift Maple Leafs to shootout victory

Oct 10, 2006 - 2:35 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Mats Sundin is getting the hang of this shootout thing.

Sundin and Darcy Tucker scored in the shootout and Andrew Raycroft denied both attempts in the bonus format as the Toronto Maple Leafs recorded a 2-1 triumph over the Florida Panthers.

After going 1-for-7 in shootout attempts last season, Sundin has connected on both of his opportunities in 2006-07. The Maple Leafs' captain opened the scoring in Monday's shootout, unleashing a wrister just under the crossbar to beat goaltender Alex Auld in the second round.

"I don't know (what the difference is)," Sundin said. "If I'm doing anything different, I'm trying to come in with a little more speed. I think last year, I was coming in a little slow and trying to pick a corner. I'm trying to put myself more in a game-type of situation on the shootout than I did last year."

Tucker sealed the win by slipping the puck between Auld's pads with a slick backhander.

"As long as you do it quick and take (goalies) across the net, they seem to open up their legs a little bit," Tucker said.

Raycroft denied Nathan Horton and Todd Bertuzzi in the shootout after making 24 saves in regulation. Horton's shot actually hit the crossbar before Raycroft stuffed Bertuzzi's backhander.

"We've played four games in six nights to start the season," Raycroft said. "We've played hard and been in all of the games. I think we're all pretty happy with where we're at right now."

The game was supposed to be a homecoming for Panthers goaltender Ed Belfour, who played for the Maple Leafs the previous three seasons. But after surrendering four goals on nine shots in Florida's 6-0 defeat to Atlanta on Saturday, Belfour - who ranks second on the all-time wins list - was given the night off in favor of Auld.

"We all hope (Belfour is) doing well," Sundin said. "Eddie (is) a great goalie. I'm sure if he had played, he would have had a great game too."

Raycroft and Auld matched each other save for save through two periods before Florida's Stephen Weiss finally broke through with a power-play goal 3:56 into the third.

Toronto forged a 1-1 tie with 8:43 to play in regulation as Kyle Wellwood took an outlet pass from Tucker and fired a slap shot past Auld, who finished with 47 saves.

"Most pucks just seemed to be hitting me," Auld said. "I was definitely feeling it tonight and just sort of trusting my instincts. I don't know how to explain it. It was just one of those nights, but that's why it's so frustrating to not get a win in a game like that."

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!