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Blake, five-goal third period lift Maple Leafs past Penguins

Feb 15, 2009 - 4:25 AM
TORONTO (Ticker) -- Jason Blake's quick strikes ignited a powder keg for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Blake scored twice in a 19-second span in the third period as the Maple Leafs scored six unanswered goals en route to a 6-2 triumph over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

Matt Stajan and Nik Antropov recorded a tally and two assists apiece and Alexei Ponikarovsky also scored and set up a goal for Toronto, which scored five times in the third.

Rookie John Mitchell also tallied, Dominic Moore notched a pair of assists and Vesa Toskala turned aside 25 shots for the Maple Leafs, who improved to 4-2-2 in their last eight contests.

"It was a great (third) period," Mitchell said. "We came out and worked hard, getting two quick goals. We knew we had a good chance to win, especially after the second period. We hemmed them in their zone a lot and got pucks to the net and made that goalie work hard."

"I think we played one of the best 60 minutes we've played in a long time," Toskala added. "We were skating hard (and) we were creating lots of chances. I really like our game tonight."

Matt Cooke scored, Bill Thomas added a shorthanded tally and Marc-Andre Fleury made 35 saves for Pittsburgh, which fell to 3-4-1 in its last eight.

"We had everything under control after the first period," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "It seems like we are having a tough time maintaining a work ethic and concentration on the road. We only have one win since December 26 on the road. We're timid, we don't skate as well or jump on the puck as we do at home."

With the Penguins nursing a 2-1 lead, Blake leveled the contest just 55 seconds into the third period. After grabbing a rebound on the doorstep, he backhanded the puck past outstretched pad of Fleury.

After pressing the Penguins into a turnover in their own end, Moore alertly fed Blake in the slot. The veteran quickly spun around a would-be check, shifted the puck to his forehand and beat Fleury for his 21st goal of the season and 13th in 2009.

"They had two quick goals that changed the momentum," Pittsburgh's Tyler Kennedy said. "We knew we had to battle in the third, and you know (what happened)."

Nearly six minutes later, Mitchell snapped a 17-game goalless drought by wristing a shot from the slot past Fleury, staking Toronto to a 4-2 lead.

Blake's bid for his seventh career hat trick was denied mere moments later, as his backhander was denied by Fleury, who made a sprawling glove save.

"Wow. I should have put that one in," Blake said. "It was a great save by Fleury."

Ponikarovsky and Stajan added insurance tallies just over 2 1/2 minutes apart later in the session to seal the win.

The Penguins claimed a quick 2-0 advantage as Cooke scored 83 seconds into the first period and Thomas netted a shorthander just over seven minutes later.

Antropov halved the deficit with 7:07 remaining in the second, deflecting defenseman Jeff Finger's shot from the point past Fleury for his 18th goal.

"We were all over them in the second period," Antropov said. "We outshot them, 14-5, I believe. One goal was going to change everything. Fortunately, we scored it before the period ended, and then we just outplayed them completely."

"We did a great job in the second period," Blake said. "We got pucks deep, we had our skating legs and we were forechecking well. We got a lot of shots on net (41), too. Overall, it was a good team effort. ... It was a good win tonight."






  • 10
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Penguins 2, Maple Leafs 6  FinalFeb 15 1:59 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 2 0 0 2
    TORONTO 0 1 5 6 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - MATT COOKE 8 (EVGENI MALKIN, KRISTOPHER LETANG) 1:23
    PIT - (SH) BILL THOMAS 2 (JORDAN STAAL) 8:34
    2ND PRD: TOR - NIK ANTROPOV 18 (JEFF FINGER, MATT STAJAN) 12:53
    3RD PRD: TOR - JASON BLAKE 20 (IAN WHITE, DOMINIC

    Feb 14 9:38 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    TORONTO 6
    3RD PRD: TOR - MATT STAJAN 13 (ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY, NIK ANTROPOV)
    15:52

    Penguins 2, Maple Leafs 6  3rd - 4:08Feb 14 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    TORONTO 5
    3RD PRD: TOR - ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY 17 (NIK ANTROPOV, MATT STAJAN)
    13:18

    Penguins 2, Maple Leafs 5  3rd - 6:42Feb 14 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    TORONTO 4
    3RD PRD: TOR - JOHN MITCHELL 4 (NIKOLAI KULEMIN, MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI)
    7:13

    Penguins 2, Maple Leafs 4  3rd - 12:47Feb 14 9:14 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    TORONTO 3
    3RD PRD: TOR - JASON BLAKE 21 (DOMINIC MOORE) 1:14

    Penguins 2, Maple Leafs 3  3rd - 18:46Feb 14 9:04 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    TORONTO 2
    3RD PRD: TOR - JASON BLAKE 20 (IAN WHITE, DOMINIC MOORE) 0:55

    Penguins 2, Maple Leafs 2  3rd - 19:05Feb 14 9:03 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 2 0 2
    TORONTO 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - MATT COOKE 8 (EVGENI MALKIN, KRISTOPHER LETANG) 1:23
    PIT - (SH) BILL THOMAS 2 (JORDAN STAAL) 8:34
    2ND PRD: TOR - NIK ANTROPOV 18 (JEFF FINGER, MATT STAJAN) 12:53
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD

    Feb 14 8:45 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    TORONTO 1
    2ND PRD: TOR - NIK ANTROPOV 18 (JEFF FINGER, MATT STAJAN) 12:53

    Penguins 2, Maple Leafs 1  2nd - 7:07Feb 14 8:33 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PITTSBURGH 2 2
    TORONTO 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PIT - MATT COOKE 8 (EVGENI MALKIN, KRISTOPHER LETANG) 1:23
    PIT - (SH) BILL THOMAS 2 (JORDAN STAAL) 8:34
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PIT 11 11
    TOR 12

    Feb 14 7:53 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 2
    TORONTO 0
    1ST PRD: PIT - (SH) BILL THOMAS 2 (JORDAN STAAL) 8:34

    Penguins 2, Maple Leafs 0  1st - 11:26Feb 14 7:30 PM


  • NHL
    PITTSBURGH 1
    TORONTO 0
    1ST PRD: PIT - MATT COOKE 8 (EVGENI MALKIN, KRISTOPHER LETANG) 1:23

    Penguins 1, Maple Leafs 0  1st - 18:37Feb 14 7:18 PM
  • 5
    roots
    aqualung1 Added 5 roots

    Penguins vs. Maple LeafsFeb 3 5:18 PM