Toronto at Florida

Panthers 4, Maple Leafs 2

CBS wire reports

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Jacques Martin was happy to reach a coaching milestone. He was even more pleased it came in an important game for the Florida Panthers.

Ed Belfour made 23 saves against his former team and Martin picked up his 450th career victory in Florida's 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

"I think the satisfaction is for us: we needed this win," said Martin, the 13th coach to reach the milestone in the NHL. "We're not playing again until Wednesday. We don't want to fall too far behind and I think that's the most important thing."

Rostislav Olesz and Olli Jokinen scored in the first period, Joel Kwiatkowski scored on a breakaway and Chris Gratton added an empty-net goal with 36.9 seconds left for Florida.

"It's definitely nice to have a good game against the fellas," said Belfour, who played the previous three seasons with Toronto. "To come out on top is definitely a bonus."

Jean-Sebastien Aubin lost for the first time since joining the Maple Leafs in March, dropping to 10-1-3. He made 39 saves and fell to 1-1-1 this season.

Toronto's Bryan McCabe scored on a slap shot at 7:19 of the third to end Belfour's shutout bid. It was McCabe's second goal. Mats Sundin scored his sixth goal at 14:09 of the third.

"We didn't have the legs Florida had," Sundin said. "We were playing back-to-back, and Florida was sitting there waiting, and they were the desperate team needing points. We needed to match that, but we waited until the third period and you can't do that in this league."

Florida lost the previous six meetings dating to March 9, 2004, while being outscored 21-10 overall. The Panthers were coming off a shootout loss against the New York Islanders and a one-goal home loss against San Jose.

"When you're on the road, you need to play smart on those nights when you don't have the edge," Toronto coach Paul Maurice said. "We didn't have the edge tonight, and we didn't play smart."

Kwiatkowski scored unassisted on a breakaway down the left side at 3:19 of the third to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead. It was Kwiatkowski's third goal.

"You don't get breakaways every day, and you just try to keep it simple," Kwiatkowski said.

Goals by Olesz and Jokinen gave Florida a 2-0 lead after one period. The Panthers took 23 shots, a season high for a period.

Olesz scored his first goal, at 1:07, when he backhanded in the rebound of Ruslan Salei's shot from the right point. Jokinen scored his sixth goal when he one-timed a cross-ice pass from Nathan Horton at 10:03.


Jokinen has 13 points in seven home games. ... Toronto has played back-to-back games three times this season, and has split all three times. The Maple Leafs won at Tampa Bay on Wednesday night. ... Florida right wing Todd Bertuzzi underwent lower back surgery and will be re-evaluated in seven to 10 days. ... Martin's career coaching mark is 450-347-119-33.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Toronto (6-5-3)0022
Florida  (6-7-2) «2024
Three Stars
O. Jokinen

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
R. Olesz

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
E. Belfour

Saves: 23
Save Pct.: .920

Related Video

Scoring Summary
01:07Rostislav Olesz, Slap Shot - Assists: Ruslan Salei, Jozef Stumpel
10:03Olli Jokinen (6), Slap Shot - Assists: Nathan Horton, Ville Peltonen
03:19Joel Kwiatkowski (3), Slap Shot - Assists: Martin Gelinas, Gregory Campbell
07:19Bryan McCabe (2), Slap Shot - Assist: Tomas Kaberle
14:09Mats Sundin (6), Slap Shot - Assist: Tomas Kaberle
19:23Chris Gratton (3), Empty Net - Assists: Rostislav Olesz, Bryan Allen
Penalty Summary
14:17Ponikarovsky: Slashing - 2 min.
02:29McCabe: Holding the stick - 2 min.
06:40Battaglia: Holding - 2 min.
10:12Belak: Roughing - 2 min.
12:39Montador: Tripping - 2 min.
04:53Montador: Holding - 2 min.
Jean-Sebastien Aubin59:36393
Ed Belfour60:00232
Game Information
Attendance - 13233
Referees - Bill McCreary, Ian Walsh
Linesmen - Derek Amell, Jonny Murray
Other Games
Buf 5 Final
Bos 4
Mon 4 Final
Car 0
TB 5 Final
Phi 2
NYI 5 Final
NJ 2
Van 2 Final
Min 5
Colo 1 Final
StL 4
Det 2 Final
Chi 1
NYR 3 Final
SJ 1