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Super Swede sinks Pens

Tuesday, 10.12.2002 / 12:00 AM / News
Toronto Maple Leafs
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Super Swede sinks Pens
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Alex Mogilny tries to get position on Mario Lemieux.
Graig Abel Photography


TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Pittsburgh Penguins haven't seen much success on the power play recently, but they have seen enough of Mats Sundin.

Sundin scored twice, including the game-winner with 6:05 remaining in the third period, as the Toronto Maple Leafs posted a 4-2 victory over the Penguins.

Just over three minutes after Mario Lemieux's 14th goal snapped Pittsburgh's 0-for-14 drought with the man advantage, Sundin took a pass from Alexander Mogilny and barely beat defenseman Marc Bergevin in the slot before lifting the puck past goaltender Jean-Sebastien Aubin for his 14th tally and 55th game-winner as a Maple Leaf.

"He's been one of the best players in the league for a long time," Toronto right wing Hoglund said of Sundin. "He's showing it night after night. When the game is on the line, you can tell he wants to have the puck and score the big goal for us.

Tonight, he got the winning goal, set up by a nice feed from Alex. Those two guys on the power play really find each other."

Sundin has five goals in three games vs. the Penguins this season and his goal halted Toronto's 0-for-11 drought with the man advantage.

Sundin and Hoglund staked Toronto to a 2-0 lead before Alexei Kovalev beat Ed Belfour on a breakaway with 2:14 left in the second to halve the deficit.

Paul Healey added an empty-netter for the Maple Leafs, who have won seven straight at Air Canada Centre.

The setback began the Penguins' five-game road trip with a season-high fifth consecutive loss.

In addition to its woes with the man advantage, Pittsburgh saw right wing Aleksey Morozov join injured defenseman Dick Tarnstrom on the sidelines with a broken wrist after he was checked into the boards by Maple Leaf defenseman Richard Jackman in the first period.

"It's frustrating when you lose five in a row," Lemieux said.

"Morozov has a broken wrist. It seems like all our key guys are getting hurt."

"What carried us before was our power play," Aubin added. "It makes a great difference for our team. Everybody tries real hard, it's just not working."

Pittsburgh converted 1-of-5 power play chances and is 3-for-21 with the man advantage in its last five games.

Sundin scored on Toronto's first shot just 9:02 into the contest. After being checked to the ice by Wayne Primeau, he managed to get a shot off from the right corner that deflected off Aubin's stick.

Hoglund netted his fifth goal at 12:53 off a giveaway by rookie defenseman Ross Lupaschuk. Playing in his first NHL game, Lupaschuk turned over the puck behind his own net and Robert Reichel whipped a pass to Hoglund in the slot.

Belfour kept the Penguins off the scoreboard until Kovalev's shot from the point at 17:46 of the second went off his pads, ending the veteran goaltender's shutout streak against Pittsburg at 97 minutes, 46 seconds. But Belfour made 21 saves while posting his sixth straight victory since November 25.

"We didn't turn the puck over on the blue line and we paid attention to who was on the ice," Toronto right wing Tom Fitzgerald said. "It was really a team effort from the goal on out."
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