Florida at Toronto

Zednik turns in hat trick as surging Panthers dismantle Leafs


TORONTO -- The Florida Panthers left no doubts as to whether they would win this one.

Richard Zednik scored three goals and Tomas Vokoun stopped all 23 shots he faced as the Panthers routed the Toronto Maple Leafs 8-0 on Tuesday night.

Nathan Horton, Olli Jokinen, Cory Murphy, Steve Montador and Brett McLean also scored for Florida, which has won three straight.

"The coaches really stressed to keep going and not let them back into the game," McLean said. "We've had a couple games this year where we have had leads in the second and third periods and we have let teams creep back in, so we really wanted to keep our foot on the gas pedal and we obviously did that."

They sure did. It was the largest loss of the season for the Maple Leafs.

"I think right now we're a little bit shell-shocked," Toronto defenseman Hal Gill said.

The game started as a battle of teams trying desperately to get back in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, but the Panthers came out with more jump. They pinned the Maple Leafs in their own end for the first two minutes and rarely looked threatened the rest of the night.

Zednik gave Florida a 1-0 lead at 6:31 of the first period while on a power play. He tipped a point shot past Vesa Toskala for his second goal in as many games after playing the previous 20 without one.

A second-period collapse sealed another loss for the Maple Leafs.

"The second period, we just got our confidence checked and it wasn't there," Gill said. "We just started doing things that we can't do as a team to win and they took advantage of it. I hate when it snowballs like that, but that's what happened."

Horton made it 2-0 only 10 seconds in after taking a nice pass from David Booth. Leafs forward Kyle Wellwood turned the puck over to start the rush that led to the goal and saw only one shift the rest of the period.

After watching Jokinen score his 26th goal of the season at 3:46, Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice called a timeout. He moved up and down the bench delivering a spirited speech to his players, but they didn't respond.

Instead, Murphy made it 4-0 for Florida at 8:19 when his long wrist shot sailed through a crowd and into the top of the goal. That prompted the Leafs coach to replace Toskala with backup Andrew Raycroft.

Maurice's next message was sent with ice time. Fourth-line grinders Wade Belak, Kris Newbury and Ben Ondrus found themselves on the ice a lot more often late in the second and were able to cause some havoc in the Panthers' end.

The Maple Leafs showed little emotion outside of a rare fight by Matt Stajan after Montador had already made it 5-0.

"We can't roll over like that in any game," said Stajan, who fought Ruslan Salei. "It's embarrassing to lose like that on home ice. We know that in this room."

Shortly after, Zednik scored power-play goals a minute apart to complete the hat trick and make it 7-0. McLean's goal made it 8-0 with 2:54 left, causing the sellout crowd at Air Canada Centre to erupt into a mock cheer.

"That was clearly worse than booing," Maurice said.


  • Jokinen's goal was the 200th of his career.
  • Mats Sundin remained stuck on 1,299 career points.
  • Toronto was without Bryan McCabe (hand), Nik Antropov (suspension), Alex Steen (shoulder), Alexei Ponikarovsky (shoulder), Chad Kilger (personal reasons), Mark Bell (face) and John Pohl (ankle).
  • The Panthers are also banged up. They were missing Jozef Stumpel (shoulder), Mike Van Ryn (wrist), Noah Welch (shoulder), Rostislav Olesz (hand), Ville Peltonen (foot) and Garth Murray (shoulder).
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.
Richard Zednik celebrates his hat trick with Olli Jokinen, who also has a goal for Florida.  (AP)
Richard Zednik celebrates his hat trick with Olli Jokinen, who also has a goal for Florida. (AP)
Florida  (25-25-5) «1348
Toronto (21-25-9)0000
Three Stars
R. Zednik

Goals: 3
Assist(s): 1
B. McLean

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 4
C. Murphy

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2

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Scoring Summary
06:31Power Play - Richard Zednik (11), Tip-In. Assist: Steve Montador, Brett McLean
10.0Nathan Horton (14), Snap Shot. Assist: David Booth, Jassen Cullimore
03:46Olli Jokinen (26), Slap Shot. Assist: Richard Zednik, Brett McLean
08:19Cory Murphy (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: David Booth
08:14Steve Montador (4), Backhand Shot. Assist: Cory Murphy, David Brine
13:49Power Play - Richard Zednik (12), Wrist Shot. Assist: Brett McLean, Cory Murphy
14:49Power Play - Richard Zednik (13), Wrist Shot. Assist: Brett McLean, Kamil Kreps
17:06Brett McLean (6), Tip-In. Assist: Olli Jokinen, Steve Montador
Penalty Summary
01:53Mezei, 2 min, Hooking
04:40Kubina, 2 min, Cross-Checking
14:21Salei, 2 min, Roughing
17:32Salei, 2 min, Slashing
04:54Bouwmeester, 2 min, Interference
11:06Stajan, 5 min, Fighting
11:06Salei, 5 min, Fighting
12:31Newbury, 2 min, Roughing
12:31Newbury, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
12:31Brine, 2 min, Roughing
13:42Tucker, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
13:42Tucker, 10 min, Misconduct
13:42Gill, 2 min, Slashing
13:42Tucker, 10 min, Game Misconduct
17:11Ondrus, 5 min, Fighting
17:11Glass, 5 min, Fighting
17:58Murphy, 2 min, Slashing
Shots On Goal
Tomas Vokoun59:52240
Andrew Raycroft31:3974
Vesa Toskala28:19114
Game Information
Attendance - 19430
Referees - Brad Meier, Ian Walsh
Linesmen - Don Henderson, Jonny Murray
Other Games
Det 3 Final
Min 2
Van 2 Final
Dal 3
TB 5 Final
StL 4
Ott 3 Final
Mon 4
Wash 4 Final
Colu 3
LA 4 Final
Pho 3 Final
Cal 4
Car 0 Final
Nash 1
Phi 3 Final
Atl 2
Buf 4 Final
Bos 2
Ana 3 Final