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Leafs earn come-from-behind point

Saturday, 21.12.2002 / 12:00 AM / News
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Leafs earn come-from-behind point
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TORONTO
(Ticker) -- Mats Sundin scored a power-play goal with 4:27 left in regulation and Ed Belfour made eight of his 26 saves in overtime as the Toronto Maple Leafs rallied for a 3-3 tie with the San Jose Sharks.

From the slot, Sundin tipped defenseman Tomas Kaberle's wrist shot from the left point past goaltender Evgeni Nabokov for his 17th goal. It came after the Sharks were penalized for taking too much time before a faceoff and made up for a goal he tipped into his own net in the second period.

"The first one was probably a better deflection than the second one," joked Sundin, who has seven goals and three assists in December. "We hung in there and the second half of the game, we played much better. We came back from down two goals twice.

We even had good chances to win the game in overtime as well."

Five minutes before the tying goal, Kaberle also scored on the power play when he one-timed a cross-ice pass from Alexander Mogilny from the left faceoff circle past Nabokov for his sixth goal.

Robert Reichel takes out the Shark's Mark Smith.
Dave Sandford/ Getty Images/NHLI
"We certainly put ourselves in the position to win the game, but we took some bad penalties and the Leafs capitalized with big goals," San Jose left wing Adam Graves said.

Nik Antropov had a goal and two assists and Mogilny also collected two assists for Toronto, which had an eight-game home winning streak stopped but has not lost at the Air Canada Centre since a 2-1 defeat to Detroit on November 16.

One more home win would have tied the team record.

"When you fall behind like we did, it is definitely good to get a point," Belfour said. "The guys showed a lot of character in coming back like that."

Marco Sturm and defenseman Dan McGillis scored on the power play and rookie Jonathan Cheechoo had the other goal for the Sharks, who are 1-1-1-1 on a five-game road trip that concludes Monday in Boston.

"We played a great game and we ended up losing a point that I felt we had earned," San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. "That's the way it goes sometimes, and the Leafs' fans got to go home happy."

Sharks captain Owen Nolan did not play in the third period while resting his sore back for precautionary reasons.

San Jose took a 2-0 lead on Belfour in a 68-second span midway through the first period. Sturm notched his 12th goal on the power play at 7:20 and Cheechoo netted his second.

Antropov got Toronto on the board 83 seconds into the second period. Darcy Tucker's blast was stopped by Nabokov, but Antropov crashed the net and the puck bounced off his leg and past the goalie for his eighth goal.

The Sharks regained a two-goal advantage when McGillis scored for the first time this season. His blast from the point hit Sundin and deflected past Belfour at 13:44.

With two minutes left in overtime, Belfour made a sprawling save to stop Teemu Selanne on a breakaway. Patrick Marleau tried to put in the rebound, but Belfour lunged to preserve the tie.

"I know Belfour well enough to know that he would be aggressive and dive down at me," said Selanne, who had two assists. "He made a great save. It was tough for us to lose the two points."

"I just tried to focus on the puck and do whatever I could do to stop it," Belfour said. "Fortunately, I got my head on that one."

Leafs coach Pat Quinn praised his goalie.

"He kept us in it the whole way," Quinn said. "We weren't real sharp early. We were out of whack on our positioning and as a result, we were behind the eight-ball really fast."
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