TORONTO (Ticker) — Defenseman Bryan McCabe scored the
game-winner with 90 seconds left in overtime as the Florida
Panthers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-3, on Tuesday.
Stephen Weiss recorded a goal and two assists and Gregory
Campbell added a tally and an assist for the Panthers, who
trailed by a 3-1 margin entering the third period.
Florida rallied as Weiss made it a 3-2 game early in the third
and Cory Stillman’s power-play goal with 53 seconds to play in
regulation tied the score.
Leading a 2-on-1 break in the first good chance of the extra
period, McCabe unleashed a slap shot from the left circle that
found a hole under goaltender Vesa Toskala’s arm, trickling into
the net to give Florida the win.
Florida never led during regulation as Niklas Hagman gave
Toronto a 1-0 lead at the 10:52 mark of the first period.
Campbell knotted the score at 1-1 with 67 seconds left in the
first, but the Maple Leafs took the momentum right back as
Alexei Ponikarovsky put Toronto on top with 20 seconds left in
the first period. Jason Blake’s wraparound try was denied by
goaltender Craig Anderson but Ponikarovsky was there to slide
home the rebound from the slot.
Toronto doubled its advantage at the 2:11 mark of the second,
taking a 3-1 lead. Nik Antropov beat Anderson with a shot from
below the left circle after the rebound from defenseman Anton
Stralman’s shot along the right boards caromed right to him.
That would be the score until early in the third period when
Stillman fed a perfect pass into the slot where Weiss skated
onto the puck and deflected it past Toskala to make it a 3-2
game at the 2:20 mark of the period.
The Maple Leafs appeared to have regained a two-goal edge midway
through the third but Ponikarovsky’s goal was overturned when
replays showed that the puck never fully crossed the line. The
Toronto center threw the puck in front where it deflected off
defenseman Jassen Cullimore’s skate, but Anderson was able to
smother the puck while it was still on the goal line.
Florida pulled its goalie for the extra attack late in the game
and Ponikarovsky was whistled for a boarding penalty, which gave
the Panthers essentially a two-man advantage with 95 seconds
remaining. Stillman knocked in a rebound from the right post,
lifting the puck over Toskala.
Anderson made 31 saves for the Panthers.
Toskala turned aside 27 shots for the Maple Leafs, who were
denied matching a season-high third straight win.