for this game

Antropov caps second-period outburst as Maple Leafs win

Oct 28, 2007 - 3:12 AM
By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- For nearly a decade, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been waiting for Nik Antropov to fulfill the promise of being a first-round pick. His first 12 games of 2007-08 might indicate that their wait could be over.

Antropov capped a second-period outburst with his eighth goal of the season and Vesa Toskala made 32 saves to lead the Maple Leafs to a 4-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

Defenseman Pavel Kubina and John Pohl also scored for Toronto, which has netted at least three goals in eight consecutive games.

Drafted 10th overall in 1998, Antropov has been a regular in Toronto's lineup since 1999 when healthy, scoring 78 times in 374 career games through last season. The 27-year-old Russian scored a career-best 18 goals in 2006-07 despite playing in only 54 contests due to injury.

The 6-6 center, who rarely has played a complete campaign, tallied twice against Ottawa on Opening Night and scored in four straight games from October 11-18 before notching a pair of key assists in Thursday's 5-2 victory at Pittsburgh.

Antropov became the sixth player in the NHL to score his eighth goal Saturday, and his tally capped an 8:31 stretch that completely reversed the momentum.

"There's probably three or four factors to this," Toronto coach Paul Maurice said. "One is he's on the ice. He's healthy, he didn't miss training camp. He put a lot of work into his summertime, so he's fit and strong and now he has confidence. So the minutes that he plays, he feels good about himself out there.

"The whole team expects certain offensive things from him, so he does as well. I think it's not just any one thing but being healthy, feeling good, being in good shape and then getting minutes to do something with."

The Maple Leafs, who have the top offense in the league, had just five shots in a scoreless first period and did not register one in the middle session for the first 6:58 but remained close thanks to Toskala.

"The Rangers have struggled, so you know they're going to come out fast the first 10-15 minutes, and we did a great job playing through that," Toronto captain Mats Sundin said. "After that, I thought we played better and better."

Already in a 1-0 hole thanks to Jaromir Jagr's off-balance wrist shot from the right faceoff circle, the Maple Leafs began to cash in on their chances.

Kubina tied it at 8:35 of the session with a blast from the left point that appeared to hit a defender and sail past Henrik Lundqvist, ending the goaltender's shutout streak at 127 minutes, 33 seconds.

Just over seven minutes later, a miscue by Lundqvist allowed Toronto to take the lead for good.

After his teammates failed several times to clear the defensive zone, Lundqvist misplayed a clearing attempt behind the net. Boyd Devereaux intercepted the puck and fed Pohl, who fired a shot from the inner edge of the right circle that sneaked inside the right goalpost for a 2-1 advantage.

Just 80 seconds later, defenseman Tomas Kaberle slid a pass through the slot to Antropov, who swept it past Lundqvist from the doorstep.

"In the second period, we started off really well," Lundqvist said. "But then for 8-10 minutes, they took over and took advantage of our mistakes out there."

That was enough for the Maple Leafs, who entered the game as the league's worst defensive team. They allowed fewer than three goals for just the fourth time in 12 contests and won consecutive games for the first time this season.

"We played two solid road games," said Kubina, who also had an assist. "We've been working on our defensive game, especially down in our zone, and it's paid off for us."

Chad Kilger scored an empty-netter in the final minute for Toronto, which had lost four of six.

Rangers coach Tom Renney liked many aspects of his team's performance but also felt it became tight once the Maple Leafs tied the game.

"When they scored their first goal, we seemed to all of a sudden get very tight," Renney said. "We missed assignments and we weren't on the right side of people. We got spread out and stretched out. From that point on, those next few minutes, at least, that's the hockey game."

Despite registering at least 30 shots for the third straight game and eighth overall, New York ran into another good goaltending performance and fell to 1-4-1 in its last six contests.

"We have to score more goals to win hockey games," Jagr said. "Hank can't stop all the shots. It's too much pressure for him."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 3 1 4
    NY RANGERS 0 1 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NYR - JAROMIR JAGR 2 (MICHAL ROZSIVAL) 5:44
    TOR - PAVEL KUBINA 1 (TOMAS KABERLE, JASON BLAKE) 8:35
    TOR - JOHN POHL 1 (BOYD DEVEREAUX) 15:46
    TOR - NIK ANTROPOV 8 (TOMAS KABERLE, CHAD KILGER) 17:06
    3RD PRD

    Oct 27 9:27 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 4
    NY RANGERS 1
    3RD PRD: TOR - (EN) CHAD KILGER 4 (PAVEL KUBINA) 19:44

    Maple Leafs vs. RangersOct 27 9:26 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 3 3
    NY RANGERS 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NYR - JAROMIR JAGR 2 (MICHAL ROZSIVAL) 5:44
    TOR - PAVEL KUBINA 1 (TOMAS KABERLE, JASON BLAKE) 8:35
    TOR - JOHN POHL 1 (BOYD DEVEREAUX) 15:46
    TOR - NIK ANTROPOV 8 (TOMAS KABERLE, CHAD KILGER)

    Oct 27 8:32 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 3
    NY RANGERS 1
    2ND PRD: TOR - NIK ANTROPOV 8 (TOMAS KABERLE, CHAD KILGER) 17:06

    Maple Leafs vs. RangersOct 27 8:29 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 2
    NY RANGERS 1
    2ND PRD: TOR - JOHN POHL 1 (BOYD DEVEREAUX) 15:46

    Maple Leafs vs. RangersOct 27 8:25 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    NY RANGERS 1
    2ND PRD: TOR - PAVEL KUBINA 1 (TOMAS KABERLE, JASON BLAKE) 8:35

    Maple Leafs vs. RangersOct 27 8:15 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 0
    NY RANGERS 1
    2ND PRD: NYR - JAROMIR JAGR 2 (MICHAL ROZSIVAL) 5:44

    Maple Leafs vs. RangersOct 27 8:07 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 0
    NY RANGERS 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TOR 5 5
    NYR 11 11
    GOALIES: TOR - VESA TOSKALA
    NYR - HENRIK LUNDQVIST

    Oct 27 7:41 PM
  • 5
    roots
    OddyOh Added 5 roots

    Maple Leafs vs. RangersOct 27 7:25 AM