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Leafs freeze up Pens at Igloo

Thursday, 09.01.2003 / 12:00 AM / News
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Leafs freeze up Pens at Igloo
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PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Nik Antropov scored the go-ahead goal midway through the second period and set up an empty-netter by Alexander Mogilny as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-2, for their third straight win.

After Toronto squandered a two-goal lead, Alexei Ponikarovsky cycled the puck down low before sending it in front. Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Aubin dived left to cover but missed the puck and got tangled with teammate Milan Kraft, leaving the net open for Antropov.

"We can't let soft goals in," said Aubin, who is 5-12-0 and will see most of the action with Johan Hedberg sidelined with a broken collarbone. "I think I'm ready for the challenge and look forward to what the next month can bring. It will be a tough stretch, but I think we can battle through it."

Travis Green is filling the scoresheet with the extra ice-time.
Doug Pensinger/GettyImages/NHLI.
Mogilny sealed Toronto's sixth win in seven games by scoring his 18th goal with 55 seconds left. The victory gave the Maple Leafs sole possession of second place in the Northeast Division, two points ahead of reeling Boston.
Travis Green and Darcy Tucker set up defenseman Jyrki Lumme for his third goal 2:32 into the game and Green added a shorthanded tally at 13:57 to give Toronto a 2-0 lead.

"With confidence, you can do a lot of good things," said Green, who has scored in each of his last three games and four of the last six. "With the injuries, it's giving me a chance to play more than I had in the first half of the season. It's a different role."

"Travis Green's performances have been real good," Toronto coach Pat Quinn added. "He is a skilfull guy, has been attentive, and I like the way he is playing."

But the Penguins controlled the first seven minutes of the second period and tied it when grinders Shean Donovan and Steve McKenna scored 4:46 apart. McKenna beat two defenders to a loose puck during a scramble in front and scored his career-high fifth goal.

"It may be a good personal stretch, but right now we're struggling with so many of our top players injured," McKenna said. "Good things can happen if you go to the net. In the recent stretch, that's what has happened."

"McKenna has stepped up his game," Pittsburgh coach Rick Kehoe said.

Pittsburgh played without superstar Mario Lemieux, who suffered a groin injury in Tuesday's loss to the New York Islanders.

"With the injuries they have, if we had left two points on the table tonight, it would not have been very good," said Quinn, whose team took three of four meetings from the Penguins this season.

"We kind of gave up a couple of easy ones and the disparity in the penalties was tremendously frustrating and puzzling. It's tough to look down and end up having that many penalties (nine) against the best power play in the league. That's how they win games."
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