Sundin skates for first time since Game 4

Updated: April 21, 2004, 2:30 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin skated Monday for the first time since injuring his left leg and again Tuesday morning, but he'll still probably miss Tuesday's Game 7 against the Ottawa Senators.

Sundin clearly favored his leg during a 35-minute skate Monday, and he didn't approach full speed or attempt any quick starts. When taking shots, Sundin often put all his weight on his right leg.

"I wanted to try different skating motions," he said. "I didn't push anything."

Sundin injured his leg in the third period of Game 4 in the first-round series and has sat out the last two games. Sundin has all the symptoms of a groin injury but again declined when asked to identify the injury.

"We'll give it a good try in the morning and see how it feels," he said. "If I'm able to skate and move out there the way I should, I'll be ready to play."

Toronto coach Pat Quinn said he wouldn't want to take a chance with Sundin unless he is completely healthy.

"It's not expected that he'll play," Quinn said. "Unless there's some kind of big change during the day somehow I don't anticipate it will happen."

With and without Sundin, the Leafs have struggled on offense. They've been outshot 201-128 and will play a Game 7 only because of Ed Belfour's goaltending and a handful of timely goals.

Ottawa tied the series Sunday with a 2-1 victory on Mike Fisher's goal in double overtime.

With Sundin and Owen Nolan out, the Leafs have concentrated more on defense. They've spent most of the game in their own zone, and once they clear the puck into Ottawa's end, they often head for the bench to rest rather than attacking. When the Leafs do manage to skate the puck out, the Senators' checking has stifled passing plays.

"We looked like we were playing not to lose rather than to win," Quinn said of the Game 6 loss. "That's not the way we should be approaching it."


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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