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Leafs Couldn't Beat Stellar Luongo

Wednesday, 25.02.2004 / 10:13 PM / News
Toronto Maple Leafs
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Leafs Couldn\'t Beat Stellar Luongo
February 25, 2004
Scoring | Statistics

Leafs Lines:
Mogilny-Sundin-Renberg,
Ponikarovsky-Nieuwendyk-Antropov,
Tucker-Reichel-Nolan,
Domi-Stajan-Fitzgerald

Defence Pairings: McCabe-Kaberle, Berg-Klee, Marchment-Pilar

Goalies: Tellqvist (L 60:00, 24 SV, 4 GA), Kidd (0:00)

Injuries: Roberts (groin); Belfour (back); Belak (knee);

Healthy scratches: Johnson, Berehoswky, Perrott

SUNRISE (AP) -- Juraj Kolnik kept scoring and Roberto Luongo kept preventing scores Wednesday night.

Kolnik had two goals and an assist and Luongo stopped 33 shots in helping the Florida Panthers extend their unbeaten streak to a season-high five games, 4-0 over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"Every time I get a chance to get a shot I try to put the puck on the net,'' said Kolnik, who has nine goals in his last 17 games. "Tonight, I got three shots and two goals."

Luongo, who beat Boston 2-0 Monday night, tied his own franchise record with his sixth shutout of the season and his third in the last four games. He has allowed two goals on 140 shots (a .985 save percentage) during that span.

"I'm feeling great right now and the guys are playing great in front of me,'' Luongo said. "That makes my job a lot easier. We have to keep going."

Matt Cullen had a goal and an assist for the Panthers, 3-0-2 during their streak. Florida moved within seven points of the idle New York Islanders for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

"This is the best we've played all year,'' Luongo said. "It's nice to be in this situation this late in the year. It's the first time for me that we re still in it this late in the season. I'm still trying to make the playoffs."

Niklas Hagman also scored for the Panthers, and Mike Van Ryn and Valeri Bure each had two assists. The line of Cullen, Bure and Kolnik combined for seven points.

Mikael Tellqvist stopped 24 shots for the Leafs, who lost their second in a row and missed an opportunity to tie Philadelphia atop the Eastern Conference. Toronto has 80 points and trails Ottawa by one in the Northeast Division.

The Leafs lost at home to Carolina on Monday night.

"We're struggling a little bit right now,'' said Leafs forward Alexander Mogilny. "We can't put the puck in the net and we're not playing well defensively. We've got to play with a little more urgency."

Kolnik scored his first goal in the opening period when he took a pass from Cullen in the slot and put a wrist shot through the legs of Robert Reichel and over the glove hand of Tellqvist.

He made it 2-0 in the third period when he outskated defenseman Ken Klee and beat Tellqvist on a partial breakaway.

Cullen scored 30 seconds later when his wrist shot from the left circle beat Tellqvist high on the short side. It was Cullen's first goal in 24 games.

"It's been a while since I scored, it was nice to be able to finish,'' Cullen said. "It's nice to show I can help the team, especially now. We need to play our best hockey right now or it's going to be a short season."

Leafs coach Pat Quinn wasn't happy about the two quick goals allowed in the third period, and said he thought Kolnik was offside on his second goal.

"One shift and two bad goals, really, from a checking standpoint and that is how you lose," Quinn said. "It's not a 4-0 game. It should have been different, but we made it into a 4-0 game."

Mats Sundin had two great chances to give Toronto the lead in the first period, but Luongo made a leg save on his one-timer on a two-on-one, and Sundin then hit the post on a breakaway.

"If we would have gotten a goal, it might have been a different game," Sundin said. "But there's no doubt they were the better team tonight."

Notes: Florida is 8-2-4-1 in its last 15 home games. ... It was the second two-goal game of Kolnik's career. The first came Feb. 22, 2001, against Philadelphia when Kolnik was with the Islanders. ... Tellqvist started for the fifth time in the last six games, with goalie Ed Belfour nursing a back injury. ... Panthers D Jay Bouwmeester, out since Jan. 19 because of a broken foot, took part in the morning skate, but missed his 17th consecutive game. He is expected to return Friday night against Washington. ... Toronto LW Gary Roberts missed his sixth consecutive game because of a groin pull.
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