Series (Game 4 of 4)

Toronto leads 3-1

Game 1: Thursday, October 10th
Maple Leafs6Final
Game 2: Monday, October 14th
Maple Leafs4
Game 3: Tuesday, December 10th
Maple Leafs4
Game 4: Thursday, January 9th
Maple Leafs4Final

Maple Leafs 4

(22-15-1, 49 pts)

Penguins 2

(17-17-5, 42 pts)

7:30 PM ET, January 9, 2003

Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1 2 3 T
TOR 2 1 14
PIT 0 2 02

T. Green (Maple Leafs - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

E. Belfour (Maple Leafs - G): Saves: 23, Save Pct.: .920

S. McKenna (Penguins - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Leafs handcuff Pens' league-leading power play

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Without their star player, the Toronto Maple Leafs are uncovering scoring depth they didn't know they had. The Pittsburgh Penguins wish they could say the same thing.

Travis Green

Toronto allowed Pittsburgh's league-leading power play to convert only one of nine chances without the injured Mario Lemieux, and Nik Antropov scored the decisive goal in a 4-2 Maple Leafs victory Thursday night.

Travis Green scored short-handed for his third goal in three games and also helped set up Jyrki Lumme's goal with 2 minutes gone as the Maple Leafs went 3-1 in the season series.

Antropov, out three games with a shoulder injury, put the Leafs ahead 3-2 midway through the second period when he swatted a loose puck into an open net. He later assisted on Alexander Mogilny's 18th goal, an empty-net tally in the final minute.

Goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin dropped down to play Alexei Ponikarovsky's bad-angle shot from behind the net, only to have the puck slide through his pads directly to an open Antropov just above the crease.

The Maple Leafs are 4-1-0-1 without top scorer Mats Sundin (shoulder), who could return Monday against the Rangers. With Sundin out, Green is getting more playing time and has six points in six games.

"It's tough to get your legs going when you play only 10 minutes a night,'' Green said. "A big part of things going good for you is confidence. It's a funny thing, but I feel good now and I feel like I can do some things. We need our guys back in the lineup, but everybody else is playing well.''

The Leafs mostly did that, except for a brief flurry when Pittsburgh rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie it on second-period goals by Shean Donovan and Steve McKenna.

Lemieux, the NHL's leading scorer, missed only his second game of the Penguins' 42 this season and his first because of an injury, a sore groin that also might keep him out of Saturday's game against the Rangers.

Lemieux's absence was glaring as the Penguins repeatedly failed to convert power-play chances, failing on five in the first period, two more in the second and another in the third.

"Thank God Mario was out,'' Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. "We kind of gave up a couple of easy ones and the disparity in penalties was tremendously frustrating and puzzling. It's tough to end up with that many penalties against the best power play in the league.''

Except when that power play isn't converting.

The Penguins began the game converting a league-high 26.9 percent of their man-advantage opportunities, but their only power-play goal against goalie Ed Belfour was McKenna's fifth in 10 games. Normally not a scorer, he tipped in the puck as it lay in the crease following a give-and-go by Milan Kraft and Tom Kostopoulos, recalled from the minors earlier in the day.

"Belfour was the difference,'' Penguins coach Rick Kehoe said. "We had our chances and we couldn't put it by him.''

The Maple Leafs actually matched Pittsburgh in special-teams scoring while substantially improving their league-leading road penalty-kill average.

During a nearly continuous stretch of power-play time that began with 6:02 gone in the second and lasted much of the period, Green grabbed the puck after Alexei Kovalev's giveaway and skated in to beat Aubin with a backhander for his seventh goal.

"This is a pretty gritty team, and we're getting contributions from everybody right now,'' Toronto forward Darcy Tucker said.

Lumme scored when Penguins defenseman Hans Jonsson couldn't clear the rebound of a shot off the crossbar that landed in front of Aubin, who will likely make nearly every start as Johan Hedberg's broken collarbone heals.

"I tell myself I've got to stop the puck whether he (Lemieux) is in there or not,'' Aubin said. "I'm very confident I can do the job.''

Game notes

The Maple Leafs outscored the Penguins 10-2 in winning the two games in Pittsburgh. ... Belfour stopped 23 of 25 shots. ... Pittsburgh started the game 50-for-186 on the power play.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press