Leafs stop streaking Islanders
Tuesday, 02.25.2003 / 12:00 AM ET / News
Toronto Maple Leafs
| Alexei Yashin gets physical with Tomas Kablerle.
Graig Abel Photography
Sundin scored twice and tough guy Tie Domi netted his career-high 14th goal to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-2 triumph over the New York Islanders.
Four points shy of 1,000 for his career, Sundin was awarded a penalty shot in the opening minute of the second period after being hooked from behind on a breakaway. But after deking to his backhand, the Maple Leafs captain lost control of the puck attempting to switch back to his forehand and failed to put a shot on goaltender Garth Snow.
"You lose the puck, it's embarrassing," Sundin said. "(Snow) surprised me, I didn't think he was going to pokecheck with the stick. I just rushed a little too much and I lost the puck. It is embarrassing, especially on home ice."
After Claude Lapointe gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead midway through the second, Sundin started and finished a three-goal outburst in the final 4:39 of the period to post his 10th career 30-goal season.
"I think it's been working well, even when we haven't played on the same line," Sundin said of playing with winger Alexander Mogilny. "Obviously, I enjoy having a winner like that on my side, knowing it's going to help me do my job and I'm sure the same for his sake. The key is to win hockey games and now we are when we're playing together."
Domi capped the scoring at 12:54 of the third, eclipsing his previous career high set in the 2000-01 season.
"It was a big win for us, bouncing back from the other night," Domi said, referring to Sunday's 5-2 loss to Nashville. "Mats led the way for us as usual, Eddie (Belfour) shut the door for us. Good teams bounce back from bad games."
Former Islanders Robert Reichel and Travis Green also scored for Toronto, which won for the 11th time in 13 games.
Shawn Bates added a shorthanded tally for New York, which had a five-game unbeaten streak stopped.
After a scoreless first period, Lapointe ended a 27-game goalless drought at 10:29 of the second when he put the rebound of rookie Mattias Weinhandl's shot over a sprawled Belfour.
New York seemingly took a 2-0 lead just over three minutes later, but the goal was waved off after the video replay official determined Jason Blake intentionally redirected Jason Wiemer's shot with his right hand.
Toronto took over from there, scoring three times in a 3:45 span to help snap a two-game losing skid against the Islanders.
Standing at the left goalpost, Sundin stopped defenseman Bryan McCabe's pass with his skate before slipping it into the net at 15:21 to extend his points streak to six games.
Alone in front, Reichel got a feed from defenseman Wade Belak, drew the puck to his forehand while spinning into position and beat Snow at 17:24 for his 10th of the season.
Sundin capped the flurry when he got the puck on the doorstep from Mogilny after leaving a drop pass in the left faceoff circle and put it behind Snow with 54 seconds remaining in the period. It was his sixth two-goal effort of the campaign.
"He's been having some good things happen for him as far as the scoring," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "A guy like Alex can hold the puck, so it gives Mats a little bit of time to get to the right spot."
"We were winning, 1-0, but I didn't like the way we were playing," Islanders coach Peter Laviolette said. "We didn't do a very good job of playing tough in front of our goalie. You get what you deserve."
Nik Antropov had an apparent goal disallowed five minutes into the third after redirecting Mogilny's shot between Snow's pads with his right skate. But Green pounced on defenseman Roman Hamrlik's turnover in front of the Islanders' net and beat an unprepared Snow at 9:13 to give the Leafs a 4-1 cushion.
"Obviously, I had a tough night," said Hamrlik, who was on the ice for four Toronto goals. "Nothing went right for me. We didn't take care of the big line, Sundin and Mogilny. We should just forget this game and focus on the next game Thursday and hope we can do better. We have to compete and be more desperate."
Bates got New York within 4-2 at 12:03 with his league-leading sixth shorthanded tally, but Domi steered Green's backhander from the left circle around Snow 51 seconds later to secure the victory.
"(Sundin) said to me he wants to do the 20-40 club between us," Domi said. "It's going to be a special year for him and I'm like, `Easy there, bud.' It's more realistic for him to get the 40. I don't know about the 20 for me."
"I told him he's got a great chance to get 20 goals, just keep shooting the puck and going to net," Sundin said. "Why not, we've got 19 games left? There's certainly a chance there.
He's having a great year."