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Steen scores game winner as red-hot Leafs get past Blues 2-1

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Alexei Ponikarovsky added a power-play goal for the Maple Leafs, who have won the first four games of a five-game trip and have won five in a row overall. Toronto has also won eight of nine on the road. Toronto, which entered ninth in the Eastern Conference, is 11-0-2 when getting a goal from Ponikarovsky, and 16-9-3 on the road.

Ryan Johnson scored for the Blues, who have lost four of five to dull the franchise's surge under new coach Andy Murray. St. Louis lost for the first time in five games against Eastern Conference opponents.

The teams met for the first time since Dec. 9, 2003, in Toronto, and first time here since Nov. 9, 2002 due to the NHL's unbalanced schedule.

Steen hit both goal posts on a shot early in the first but got his 11th goal on a shot from a bad angle that deflected off Manny Legace's pads for a 2-1 lead with 1:43 left in the second.

Blues defenceman Dennis Wideman broke his stick early in a prolonged possession for Toronto, and St. Louis missed a couple of other chances to clear the puck.

Toronto was held to three shots in the period, and none until the final 4:10.

Raycroft robbed Bill Guerin during a Blues power play at about the four-minute mark of the third, recovering from the first shot in time to dive to his left and glove Guerin's shot that would've tied it. About a half-minute later, he stopped Barret Jackman from the slot after a Toronto turnover.

The Blues' checking line had tied it at 12:38 on Johnson's seventh goal, and fifth in 10 games. Johnson sped past the Toronto defence and slipped a backhand shot between Raycroft's pads.

The Maple Leafs capitalized on the Blues' only penalty of the first period for Ponikarovsky's 14th goal when he tapped in his own rebound at 15:55.

Notes: Blues F Martin Rucinsky left in the second period with an undisclosed lower-body injury . . . Maple Leafs F Boyd Devereaux returned after missing three games with a sprained ankle . . . Raycroft made his 15th straight start and Legace has started eight of the last nine.


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