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Mogilny, Mats make magic

Thursday, 10.10.2002 / 12:00 AM / News
Toronto Maple Leafs
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Mogilny, Mats make magic
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PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Alexander Mogilny and Mats Sundin each scored twice and Ed Belfour stopped all 32 shots in his debut for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who opened the season with a 6-0 blanking of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Mogilny wasted no time atoning for his mediocre first season with the Maple Leafs, scoring during a two-man advantage at 5:24 of the first period and again early in the second to make it 3-0.

The Russian sniper became the 77th player in NHL history to reach the 900-point plateau on his second tally and added an assist on Sundin's second goal.

"This was one of those days everything went in," Moginly said.

"Anything can happen in 82 games. We just have to try to put the puck in the net."
Sundin, Mogilny and Tucker made the Penguins pay all night.
Courtesy Pittsburgh Penguins


Belfour, who signed as a free agent after Curtis Joseph left for the Detroit Red Wings, needed just one game to match his shutout total from all of last season and pull within two of Patrick Roy for the active lead with 59.

"Definitely a great way to get started. I appreciate the hard work guys did in front of me," said Belfour, who became the first Maple Leafs goaltender to record a shutout in his debut.

"They kept the quality chances down in front of the net. I think when your team is playing well in front of you it builds confidence."

Pittsburgh had chances but wasted nine power-play opportunities, including a pair of two-man advantages in the second period.

"We had some good opportunities in the slot and our guys tried to make fancy plays," Penguins owner-captain Mario Lemieux said.

"I think on the power play, it was a combination. They know we don't shoot the puck a lot and they were taking the lanes away. We talked about it before the game - first couple of power plays, we have to shoot."

Lemieux registered five shots in 23 minutes in his first action since February 27. Back and hip injuries limited the Hall of Famer to 24 games.

Sundin assisted on both of Mogilny's goals and put Toronto up 2-0 with a wrist shot that beat Johan Hedberg at 8:36 of the opening period. The Leafs' leading scorer for each of the last eight seasons, he added his 399th career goal midway through the third to extend the lead to 4-0.

"Our line during the exhibition games was passing it around too much. I thought once we got a goal early, it helped build some confidence," Sundin said. "It's nice to get a good start, we can build on this. It's only one game. After 15-20 games, you'll get a feel for how the line will work out."

"Our guys were hot and scoring, especially that one line," said Toronto coach Pat Quinn, who bumped Mogilny up to the first line during the preseason. "We had the hot stick, they didn't, and Eddie looked real sharp. As the game went on, we ended up getting more and more chances."

Darcy Tucker set up all four goals by Mogilny and Sundin.

The Penguins, who concluded last season with a 10-game winless streak, suffered the worst season-opening loss in team history.

They have lost their last four openers, the longest current streak in the NHL.

"Our team didn't do what it should," Lemieux said. "It's only one game, of course, but it wasn't a good showing, obviously.

The power play is going to get better, the transition is going to get better."
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