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Leafs Settle For Tie

Monday, 13.10.2003 / 10:35 PM / News
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Leafs Settle For Tie
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TORONTO (CP) - The Maple Leafs might be without Alexander Mogilny when they begin a stretch of five road games in eight nights in New Jersey on Thursday.

Mogilny, Toronto's leading scorer last season, limped off the ice late in a 2-2 tie with the Washington Capitals on Monday night. "He pulled a groin," said head coach Pat Quinn. "There doesn't appear to be any strength in his leg. "I don't anticipate he'll be available to us in the near future but we'll get a better assessment (Tuesday)."

The Leafs, playing much better than they did in dropping their season opener 4-0 to Montreal at home Saturday, had a 36-18 shots advantage but Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig came up big, and Washington was 2-for-4 on power plays compared to 1-for-8 for the Leafs.

"We knew they had a sluggish game the other night but we weathered the storm early in the game and we're happy to take the point," said Kolzig. "Our penalty killers did a great job - they helped keep us in the game."

Alex Mogilny suffered a pulled groin and will be evaluated on Tuesday.
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Nik Antropov and Mogilny scored for Toronto, 0-1-1-0, and Peter Bondra and Robert Lang for Washington, 1-1-1-0.

Toronto got the early lead when Washington rookie Boyd Gordon put the puck in his own net at 6:41. Gordon stuck out his stick blade to try and intercept an Antropov pass and the puck caromed into one side of the net as Kolzig moved across his crease to cover the other side.

Bondra tied it with a power-play goal at 9:33 of the second period when he beat Ed Belfour with a low slap shot from just above the circle to the goalie's left. Wade Belak was in the penalty box for elbowing. Belak doesn't play much - seven shifts for four minutes 15 seconds Monday - but he's prone to taking penalties.

"If we're going to get penalized for him, he's going to be hard to play," Quinn said of the fourth-line hulk.

Mogilny made it 2-1 at 14:59 with two Capitals off - Sergei Gonchar for hooking and Jeff Halpern for slashing. Ric Jackman slid the puck into the circle to the left of Kolzig and Mogilny quickly swept it between Kolzig's legs as the goalie was dropping to his knees.

Gary Roberts, the victim of the Halpern slash, went to the Leafs dressing room holding his left wrist. The Leafs were ahead 26-7 on the shots counter at the second intermission, and Roberts was back on the ice to start the third period.

"He had a broken blood vessel but X-rays didn't show anything serious," said Quinn.

Lang tied it 2-2 with a power-play goal at 8:49. Parked in the circle to the right of Belfour, Lang swept a Gonchar pass into the low far corner of the net. Mats Sundin was off for holding.

Toronto centre Robert Reichel went to the dressing room with 2:45 remaining in regulation time when he was crushed in a corner by the 40-pounds-heavier Mike Grier, who was penalized for elbowing.

"He hurt his back a little bit but he's coming out of it all right," said Quinn.

Although his team didn't take many penalties, Quinn didn't like the cost.

"We made this a theme of our pre-season," he said. "We're not lily white but . . . we're beating ourselves.

"We should have finished them off. Instead, we're standing here with one lousy point instead of two."

Leafs defenceman Ken Klee faced his former teammates for the first time.

"We took the play to them a lot but they hung in there to get a point," said Klee.

Thanks to Kolzig.

"Goaltenders have to win a point for you here and ther and he did it for them tonight," said Quinn.

Said Caps coach Bruce Cassidy: "I've always believed that your goaltender has to be your best player on the road, especially early, and he was. I was glad we were able to battle back and get him a point because he deserved it."

Notes: Healthy Toronto scratches were LW Alexei Ponikarovsky and RW Nathan Perrott. D Bryan McCabe (knee), RW Tom Fitzgerald (shoulder) and G Trevor Kidd (shoulder) remained unavailable . . . Washington used D Jean-Francois Fortin in place of D Brendan Witt, who suffered a concussion Saturday . . . The only man in Leafs history with more winning goals than Mats Sundin (60) is Dave Keon (63) . . . Attendance was 18,917.
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