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Pronger Gives Leafs The Blues

Tuesday, 12.9.2003 / 10:22 PM ET / News
Toronto Maple Leafs
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Pronger Gives Leafs The Blues
Vs. Blues: Scoring | Statistics

December 9, 2003

TORONTO (AP) -- Chris Pronger and the St. Louis Blues stopped a streaking team -- again.

Pronger scored 30 seconds into overtime to give Blues a 3-2 victory over Toronto on Tuesday night, ending the Maple Leafs' winning streak at eight games.

"It's a huge win," said Pronger, whose team also ended Nashville's six-game winning streak Saturday night.

"It's a great feeling to stop a team that's playing with that kind of confidence. It shows us how well we can play against some of the top teams in the league."

After Toronto's Joe Nieuwendyk tied it with a short-handed goal with 17 seconds left in regulation, Pronger scored on the power-play with a 20-foot wrist shot from in front of the net.

Belfour held the Leafs in and gave them a chance to earn the point.
(Graig Abel Photography)
With Toronto's Tom Fitzgerald serving a four-minute penalty for high-sticking with 3:01 left in regulation, Nieuwendyk scored after Mats Sundin and Gary Roberts put shots off goalie Chris Osgood.

"The worst part was that I was so thankful that we clawed back and got the point, but then to look up and see that I had a minute left in the box, it's disheartening to say the least," Fitzgerald said.

Sundin also scored for the Maple Leafs, who were outshot 26-15. The winning streak was Toronto's longest since winning 10 straight at the start of the 1993-94 season.

"We weren't very good," Toronto's Gary Roberts said. "We might been fatigued. We definitely didn't play the way we have been playing."

Mark Rycroft and Dallas Drake had second-period goals for the Blues, who tied with Detroit for first place in the Central Division. St. Louis is unbeaten in four.

Toronto went 0-for-7 on the power play. In its last 11 games, St. Louis has killed 41 of 43 power-play chances.

"The penalty kill has been a huge part of our success," St. Louis center Doug Weight said. "I loved the way we played. Unfortunately, they got a goal with 17 seconds left, but we bailed ourselves out in overtime."

The Maple Leafs lost at home for the first time since a 7-1 loss to Philadelphia on Nov. 1 -- a span of seven games.

"They are one of the elite teams in the league, and you always want to try to measure up against the top teams," Blues winger Scott Mellanby said.

Rycroft scored after rookie forward Matt Stajan couldn't tie him up behind the net. Rycroft skated from behind and put a shot over goalie Ed Belfour at 7:58. Stajan banged his stick to the ice in frustration.

Drake scored St. Louis' fourth short-handed goal of the season at 14:28. Jamal Mayers and Drake skated in on a two-on-one and Drake put a one-timer past Belfour.

Sundin, standing in front of the net, redirected Toronto defenseman Karel Pilar's pass less than two minutes later.

Notes: Toronto's Nathan Perrott and St. Louis' Reed Low fought early in the second period. Low didn't return to the game after colliding with Toronto's Darcy Tucker in the second. ... The game was the only regular-season meeting between the teams.

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