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Leafs seek return of opening night magic

Monday, 10.14.2002 / 12:00 AM ET / News
Toronto Maple Leafs
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Leafs seek return of opening night magic
Pittsburgh Penguins (1-1-0-0) at Toronto Maple Leafs (1-1-0-0)
Monday, October 14, 2002, 7:30 pm

The Pittsburgh Penguins hope to avenge an embarrassing opening loss to Toronto as they visit the Maple Leafs.

At the Mellon Arena last Thursday, the Leafs quickly exposed the Penguins' defensive and goaltending weaknesses in a 6-0 victory -- the worst season-opening loss in team history.

Darcy Tucker and his new linemates - Sundin and Mogilny - had a huge game in the opener vs. the Penguins.
(Credit: Graig Abel Photography)
Toronto captain Mats Sundin led the Leafs with two goals and two assists, while Ed Belfour made 33 saves to record a shutout in his Maple Leaf debut.

Making some lineup changes, the Penguins regrouped with a 6-0 win over the New York Rangers on Saturday. Mario Lemieux scored his first two goals since late January and Aleksey Morozov had two goals in the opening six minutes.

"We were happy to get that first goal tonight," Penguins coach Rick Kehoe said. "That kind of gets the monkey off our back."

Jean-Sebastien Aubin, replacing opening-game starter Johan Hedberg, turned aside 30 shots for his first victory at home since March 10, 2001, and his first shutout since Feb. 14, 2000, against Vancouver. The Penguins ended their own winless drought, posting their first victory since beating Washington 6-2 on March 24, going 0-9-1-1 over the stretch.

The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, are coming off a 2-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. Peter Schastlivy scored a power-play goal with 21.2 seconds remaining to hand Toronto a loss in its home opener. With Belfour sidelined with an infected right index finger, backup Trevor Kidd made 33 saves in the loss, in which Leafs killed eight of 10 penalties.

"Too long and too many," Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. "To think you can kill all of those penalties we ended up killing ourselves."

Maple Leafs - 2 points, 2nd place (tied), 2 PB, Northeast Division.
Penguins - 2 points, 3rd place (tied), 2 PB, Atlantic Division.

Maple Leafs - Mogilny and Sundin, 2 goals; Darcy Tucker, 4 assists; Sundin and Tucker, 4 assists; Nik Antropov, 6 PIM.
Penguins - Lemieux and Morozov, 2 goals; Alexei Kovalev, 3 assists and 6 PIM; Morozov, 4 points.

Maple Leafs - Power play: 16.7 percent (2 for 12), 15th; Penalty killing: 89.5 percent (17 for 19), 12th.
Penguins - Power play: 16.2 percent (1 for 16), 26th in NHL; Penalty killing: 90.0 percent (9 for 10), 10th.

Maple Leafs - Belfour (1-0-0, 0, 0.00); Kidd (0-1-0, 0, 2.00).
Penguins - Aubin (1-0-0, 1 SO, 0.00 GAA); Hedberg (0-1-0, 0, 6.00).

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