for this game

Antropov, Sundin lead as Maple Leafs crush Bruins

Mar 7, 2008 - 4:52 AM
By Tony Lee PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BOSTON (Ticker) -- It appears as if the Toronto Maple Leafs have a little bit of fight left in them this season. There has not been much of that lately in Boston Bruins All-Star goaltender Tim Thomas.

Nik Antropov scored twice and defenseman Bryan McCabe recorded a goal and three assists, helping the Maple Leafs chase the struggling Thomas during an 8-2 rout of the suddenly slumping Bruins on Thursday night.

Captain Mats Sundin and Jason Blake each added a goal and two assists for Toronto, which finished 4-for-7 on the power play. The Maple Leafs improved to 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and kept alive their slim playoff chances.

With the triumph, Toronto (30-29-10) remained six points behind eighth-place Philadelphia (34-26-8) in the Eastern Conference standings. The Flyers edged the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-2, on Thursday.

"You can't control what other teams do," Blake said. "Don't even look at it. Just worry about yourself, play the way that we've been playing. ... Just take care of your own business and things will work out."

Even with the strong effort, Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice admitted the team had some early jitters.

"We didn't start great," Maurice said. "I know I shouldn't bring out the negative on a night like this, but the first seven minutes, I wasn't overly excited. We got better."

Boston (35-25-7) fell to seventh in the conference - one point ahead of Philadelphia - as the New York Rangers (35-24-9) climbed into sixth by skating to a 4-1 victory over the New York Islanders.

"This is as bad of a slump as we have had," Bruins coach Claude Julien said after seeing his team get outshot, 40-29. "I don't think we've played this bad all year."

The Bruins are 0-2-1 since posting a season-high six-game winning streak, getting outscored, 19-4, in that span. Thomas has allowed 12 of those goals in less than 70 minutes of action, this on the heels of a 3-0-0 homestand in which he let up just three tallies in 185 minutes.

"Another one of them," Thomas said when asked if this was just another game despite having a 10-2 loss to Washington on Monday fresh in his mind. "We just got outplayed. ... When I was doing well, I was a product of the team. It's my job to help the team when we're struggling."

"Tim's been good for us all year, and he's fighting it now," Julien said. "He's got to work his way out of it."

Boston actually struck first on Thursday, getting a goal from Peter Schaefer midway through the first that came just seconds after it failed to convert on its first power-play try.

P.J. Axelsson took a hooking penalty a few minutes later, however, and the Maple Leafs wasted no time evening things up.

Blake slid a cross-ice pass to the point for All-Star defenseman Tomas Kaberle, who rifled a shot through traffic that Thomas failed to corral. Blake got the loose puck on his stick and poked it into the net at 14:42 for his 13th goal of the season.

And with that, the floodgates opened.

Toronto scored four goals - two more on the power play - within the first 12 minutes of the second period.

Alexei Ponikarovsky snapped the tie when he gathered a loose puck in the neutral zone and fired a slap shot that beat Thomas to the glove side 77 seconds into the session. McCabe was credited with his first goal since November 20 - also against Boston - when his power-play shot glanced off the skate of Bruins right wing Chuck Kobasew and past Thomas at 4:48.

That tally, which proved to be the game-winner, also marked the point at which Thomas believed the game started to get away from him.

"Probably the one that went in off (Kobasew's) skate. I was like, 'Oh no,'" Thomas said. "You try to ignore it. It's a bad-luck goal. Those things happen."

Thomas lost his cool a bit after Matt Stajan stuffed the puck between his pads 8:05 into the second and was pulled when Antropov notched a man-advantage goal roughly four minutes later to make it 5-1.

"Obviously, the score got kind of carried away, but I thought we played a solid hockey game aside from the first seven or eight minutes," said Toronto's Alex Steen, who had three assists. "We battled through that and we were really strong after that. ... Today's points were important for us to get."

Darcy Tucker, Antropov and Sundin scored in the third against Alex Auld to put the game out of reach. Phil Kessel beat Maple Leafs goaltender Vesa Toskala in the last minute to complete the scoring.

Toskala made 27 saves for the Maple Leafs, who dropped the first three meetings between the teams this season but have won the last three. The teams complete the season series with a home-and-home set later this month.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 1 4 3 8
    BOSTON 1 0 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - PETER SCHAEFER 8 (DAVID KREJCI, ANDREW FERENCE) 11:40
    TOR - JASON BLAKE 13 (TOMAS KABERLE, BRYAN MCCABE) 14:42
    2ND PRD: TOR - ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY 15 (IAN WHITE) 1:17
    TOR - (PP) BRYAN MCCABE 5 (ALEX STEEN, MATS S

    Mar 6 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 8
    BOSTON 2
    3RD PRD: BOS - (PP) PHIL KESSEL 16 (MARK STUART, ZDENO CHARA) 19:24

    Maple Leafs 8, Bruins 2  3rd - 0:36Mar 6 9:34 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 8
    BOSTON 1
    3RD PRD: TOR - MATS SUNDIN 30 (BRYAN MCCABE, ALEX STEEN) 15:05

    Maple Leafs 8, Bruins 1  3rd - 4:55Mar 6 9:24 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 7
    BOSTON 1
    3RD PRD: TOR - NIK ANTROPOV 26 (ALEX STEEN, MATT STAJAN) 8:16

    Maple Leafs 7, Bruins 1  3rd - 11:44Mar 6 9:12 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 6
    BOSTON 1
    3RD PRD: TOR - (PP) DARCY TUCKER 15 (JASON BLAKE, TOMAS KABERLE) 6:44

    Maple Leafs 6, Bruins 1  3rd - 13:16Mar 6 9:09 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 1 4 5
    BOSTON 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - PETER SCHAEFER 8 (DAVID KREJCI, ANDREW FERENCE) 11:40
    TOR - JASON BLAKE 13 (TOMAS KABERLE, BRYAN MCCABE) 14:42
    2ND PRD: TOR - ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY 15 (IAN WHITE) 1:17
    TOR - (PP) BRYAN MCCABE 5 (ALEX

    Mar 6 8:35 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 5
    BOSTON 1
    2ND PRD: TOR - (PP) NIK ANTROPOV 25 (BRYAN MCCABE, MATS SUNDIN) 11:50

    Maple Leafs 5, Bruins 1  2nd - 8:10Mar 6 8:24 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 4
    BOSTON 1
    2ND PRD: TOR - MATT STAJAN 14 (JASON BLAKE, DARCY TUCKER) 8:05

    Maple Leafs 4, Bruins 1  2nd - 11:55Mar 6 8:15 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 3
    BOSTON 1
    2ND PRD: TOR - (PP) BRYAN MCCABE 5 (ALEX STEEN, MATS SUNDIN) 4:48

    Maple Leafs 3, Bruins 1  2nd - 15:12Mar 6 8:08 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 2
    BOSTON 1
    2ND PRD: TOR - ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY 15 (IAN WHITE) 1:17

    Maple Leafs 2, Bruins 1  2nd - 18:43Mar 6 8:03 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 1 1
    BOSTON 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: BOS - PETER SCHAEFER 8 (DAVID KREJCI, ANDREW FERENCE) 11:40
    TOR - JASON BLAKE 13 (TOMAS KABERLE, DARCY TUCKER) 14:42
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TOR 13

    Mar 6 7:42 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    BOSTON 1
    1ST PRD: TOR - JASON BLAKE 13 (TOMAS KABERLE, DARCY TUCKER) 14:42

    Maple Leafs 1, Bruins 1  1st - 5:18Mar 6 7:36 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 0
    BOSTON 1
    1ST PRD: BOS - PETER SCHAEFER 8 (DAVID KREJCI, ANDREW FERENCE) 11:40

    Maple Leafs 0, Bruins 1  1st - 8:20Mar 6 7:26 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Maple Leafs vs. BruinsMar 5 8:47 AM