EDMONTON, Alberta (Ticker) — Nik Antropov snapped a tie with 61
seconds remaining in the second period and Matt Stajan notched
three assists for the third time in his career as the Toronto
Maple Leafs recorded a 5-2 triumph over the Edmonton Oilers on
Defenseman Tomas Kaberle, rookie Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail
Grabovski each netted a power-play goal as Toronto went 3-for-4
with the man advantage.
Blue-liner Ian White also scored and Vesa Toskala turned aside
23 shots for the Maple Leafs.
“I think as a group, we know we need everyone going every
night,” Stajan said. “You can’t look over at one or two guys
and expect them to win you a hockey game. … Everyone’s
contributing in their own way and we’re winning hockey games,
and that’s the key to our success right now.”
“If the power play is clicking, there’s more than a 50 percent
chance that you’re going to win the game,” Antropov said.
“That’s what happened to us.”
Captain Ethan Moreau scored and Sam Gagner recorded his first
goal of the season for Edmonton, which returned home after
playing 12 of its first 15 games on the road.
“It was obviously a weight off my shoulders,” Gagner said of the
goal. “There’s still a long ways to go this year, and I have to
find a way to have a more consistent effort every game and try
to create my own bounces. But it was definitely a good
Ales Hemsky and defenseman Denis Grebeshkov notched two assists
apiece and rookie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers made 24 saves as the
Oilers saw their modest two-game winning streak come to an end.
“We were definitely concerned coming off our long road trip with
our start to this game, but we came out energized and ready to
go,” Edmonton defenseman Steve Staios said. “It seems it is
that first period when you are coming off a long trip that does
you in, but it was the rest of the game that did it to us
“You never like to win a couple games and then come back with a
loss like that,” Gagner said. “We have to find that consistency
where we play the same way every night. I think we are getting
closer and closer to finding that. And hopefully, we get there
in the near future.”
With the game even at 2-2, Stajan set up his third goal of the
second period with time winding down.
The 24-year-old gathered the puck behind the end line and
backhanded it to Antropov in the slot. The Russian made no
mistake as he quickly unleashed a shot past Drouin-Deslauriers
for his seventh goal of the season.
Stajan had assisted on power-play goals by Kaberle and Kulemin
earlier in the session that gave the Maple Leafs a 2-1
“They’re putting the puck in the net for me when I’m giving it
to them,” Stajan said. “I’m getting some power-play time and
“When you get an opportunity, you try and make the most of it –
and (when) things start going in, you start playing with
confidence. I think our line, we’re rolling and we’re playing
with confidence. It’s resulting in a lot of goals, and we know
we’ve got to do that on a nightly basis to give ourselves the
chance to win.”
White extended the lead to 4-2 at 5:05 of the third by taking a
feed from Jason Blake in the slot and beating Drouin-Deslauriers
for his second tally of the campaign.
Blake then set up an unmarked Grabovski in the slot with 6:38
remaining in the contest. The 24-year-old slipped the puck past
Drouin-Deslauriers for his eighth goal.
“I give (the Maple Leafs) credit because they are a hard-working
group that is structured – and we lack that structure in our
game right now,” Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. “That’s
why we got pounded.”