for this game

Sundin, Steen help Maple Leafs continue Thrashers' woes

Feb 24, 2008 - 4:24 AM
TORONTO (Ticker) -- Mats Sundin could be on his way out of Toronto, but Alex Steen should help ease some of the heartbreak fans may have. Both played a role in their team's victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday.

Sundin scored a power-play goal and Steen snapped a tie hours after signing a contract extension as the Toronto Maple Leafs skated to a 3-1 triumph over the Thrashers.

Nik Antropov added a goal and two assists and Vesa Toskala stopped 24 shots for Toronto, which is mired in last place in the Northeast Division with 61 points and may trade its captain before Tuesday's deadline.

It may have been the last game in a Maple Leafs uniform for the 37-year-old Sundin, who has scored 413 of his 548 career goals over the last 13 years in Toronto. The Maple Leafs do not play again until Wednesday.

"(Sundin's) the leader on and off the ice," Toskala said. "A great hockey player."

If it was his last contest with the club, Sundin went out in style as he tied the game at 1-1 with a man-advantage tally 3:33 into the second period. It was the first of three straight goals by Toronto, which handed Atlanta its fourth straight loss.

Sundin has made his feelings abundantly clear.

"I don't want to go anywhere," he said. "I'm sure I'm going to talk to (general manager Cliff Fletcher) a few more times before Tuesday, but right now, there is nothing changed."

Steen also has no desire to see Sundin leave. "I would miss him a great deal," Steen said. "He's taught me so much. You just sit back in awe and realize what Mats has done, not just for the team, but for the city and this organization. He's just an incredible person."

But should Sundin be dealt, the Maple Leafs faithful can turn to Steen for hope in the future.

The 24-year-old Steen, who signed a two-year contract extension earlier Saturday, made it 2-1 just 2:53 into the third, when he fired a wrist shot that sneaked past netminder Kari Lehtonen and inside the left goalpost.

"Nikky made a good play on the boards and played it into the middle, I got some speed and kept it on my backhand and there was a hole over top of Lehtonen," Steen said.

Antropov added his 100th career goal at 12:44 to provide the final margin.

"It was kind of a broken play," Antropov said. "I feed Steener blue line. I don't know what happened. He kind of fell down and the puck came out to me, and I didn't look at the net. I just shot it and it went in."

While Sundin and Toronto are dealing with trade rumors, Atlanta and All-Star right wing Marian Hossa are in the same boat.

Hossa, who assisted on Mark Recchi's first-period goal, also could be dealt as he has not been able to come to terms on a contract extension with the Thrashers.

"It's still early to talk about it," Hossa said. "I'm gonna wait to see what happens and talk about it later."

With 8:06 remaining in the first, Toskala stopped a shot by Hossa during a power play. But Recchi gathered the rebound on the left side of the net and deposited it past the Finnish goalie for his 12th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.

Lehtonen stopped 22 shots for Atlanta (29-30-4), which fell to 1-3-0 on its five-game road trip and now trails the first-place Carolina Hurricanes (32-28-5) by seven points in the Southeast Division.

"They got a couple of points ahead of us again and the gap is getting bigger," Hossa said. "It's going to be tough to catch them."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 1 0 0 1
    TORONTO 0 1 2 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - (PP) MARK RECCHI 12 (MARIAN HOSSA, VYACHESLAV KOZLOV)
    11:54
    2ND PRD: TOR - (PP) MATS SUNDIN 25 (KYLE WELLWOOD, NIK ANTROPOV) 3:33
    3RD PRD: TOR - ALEX STEEN 11 (NIK ANTROPOV, BRYAN MCCABE) 2:53
    TOR - NIK ANTROPO

    Feb 23 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    TORONTO 3
    3RD PRD: TOR - NIK ANTROPOV 22 (ALEX STEEN, IAN WHITE) 12:44

    Thrashers vs. Maple LeafsFeb 23 9:18 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    TORONTO 2
    3RD PRD: TOR - ALEX STEEN 11 (NIK ANTROPOV, BRYAN MCCABE) 2:53

    Thrashers vs. Maple LeafsFeb 23 9:02 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 1 0 1
    TORONTO 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - (PP) MARK RECCHI 12 (MARIAN HOSSA, VYACHESLAV KOZLOV)
    11:54
    2ND PRD: TOR - (PP) MATS SUNDIN 25 (KYLE WELLWOOD, NIK ANTROPOV) 3:33
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL

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