Edmonton Journal

Four-goal Panther outburst sinks Leafs

- BILL WHITEHEAD The Associated Press

SUNRISE, FLA. — Brad Boyes and the resilient Florida Panthers put together a big rally against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night.

Boyes scored a tiebreakin­g power-play goal in Florida’s four-goal third period, sending the Panthers to a 6-4 victory over the Maple Leafs.

Willie Mitchell, Dmitry Kulikov and Scottie Upshall also scored in the third for the Panthers, who have won four of five. Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and an assist, and Jussi Jokinen had two assists.

The Maple Leafs (20-13-3) were 14-0-0 when leading after two periods, but Florida (16-9-8) put an end to the streak in front of its seasonbest crowd of 17,877.

“We had a good chat between (the second and third) periods. We talked about getting back to our game and playing smart and a northsouth game,” Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said.

“We worked hard and we got a couple of bounces and breaks and I thought we deserved the game.”

James van Riemsdyk had a goal and an assist for Toronto, which has dropped four of five. James Reimer made 29 saves.

Florida and Toronto combined for six goals in the second, but the Panthers controlled the final period.

Kulikov started the rally when he whistled a shot past Reimer 2:45 into the third for his first goal of the season. Mitchell, another defenceman, then used a pass from Huberdeau to tie it at 4.

“It was huge. It was a big gorilla (on my back); not a monkey,” Kulikov said.

Boyes tipped in Kulikov’s shot from the point for the game-winning goal at 16:45, and Upshall added an empty-netter for his fifth of the season.

“We just kept pounding away on them. We were throwing pucks at the net and making the most of our opportunit­ies,” Boyes said of his sixth goal.

“(Tonight) could be a message to us that we want to create more traffic in front of the net. Three of those (four) goals were the result of having scrums in front of the net.”

Reimer said the traffic in front of him was an issue.

“They just got pucks and bodies to the net. Unfortunat­ely, I wasn’t able to see a couple of them and they got in the back of the net,” he said.

Florida’s closing flourish came after Roman Polak, van Riemsdyk and Nazem Kadri scored in a span of 4:42 in the second to lift the Maple Leafs to a 4-2 lead.

Polak beat goaltender Roberto Luongo on Toronto’s ninth shot at 14:16. Van Riemsdyk then tipped a shot past Luongo at 17:30 after Cody Franson slid the puck between Florida defenceman Dylan Olsen’s legs.

The power-play goal was van Riemsdyk’s 16th of the season.

Joffrey Lupul led a 3-on-2 rush down the left wall and fed a pass to Kadri at 18:58, and the centre put it away for his 11th goal.

 ?? TERRY RENNA/ THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ?? Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer tries to shop a shot from Florida Panthers forward Jimmy Hayes on Sunday.
TERRY RENNA/ THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer tries to shop a shot from Florida Panthers forward Jimmy Hayes on Sunday.

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