VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs
believe they're better than their road trip indicated. Finishing it
with a win was the best way to prove it.
Owen Nolan snapped a tie 4:18 into the third period, and Gary
Roberts scored his goal of the game five minutes later to help
Toronto end a five-game winless slide with a 5-3 victory Saturday
night over the Vancouver Canucks.
It was Vancouver's first loss at home (9-1-1) and the Leafs'
first win during a six-game western road swing (1-2-2-1) that had
some in Toronto calling for coach Pat Quinn's job.
"Everyone seems to be selling us short just because we had one
bad road trip," Nolan said. "We're not selling ourselves short
here. We feel we've got a good hockey team. It's a gritty team in
here and it's a long season. Every team goes through a bit of a
slump. Hopefully this will help us swing out of it."
"It was a big win," said Belfour, who was at his best in the
second period -- killing off five of eight power plays, including a
lengthy two-man advantage. "We're a veteran team and we have to
step up and show leadership and play our best every night."
Markus Naslund and Trevor Linden also scored for the Canucks,
who fell behind 2-0 for the third straight game. But after coming
back to win the first two in overtime they fell short on Saturday,
leaving Philadelphia as the only NHL team without a home loss this
"It was a pretty poor performance," Naslund said. "We've
gotten away with it a few games where we realized we didn't play
well but still won. We need to change that and we need to change it
Despite missing five regulars to injury, including Alexander
Mogilny and Joe Nieuwendyk, the Leafs came out fast and were
Tie Domi's fight with Vancouver's Bryan Allen 23 seconds in set
the tone, and Roberts scored 18 seconds later on a redirection of
Bryan McCabe's low point shot. Reichel walked out from behind the
net untouched and scored through a screen from the high slot at
"We let them not only rebound, but stay in front of the net and
we didn't get pucks out," Naslund said. "I thought they were more
determined than we were."
Naslund ended an eight-game goal drought at 8:34, and Linden
tied it on a power play with 13.8 seconds left in the period.
Both goaltenders dominated the second period before Nolan scored
after being left alone at the side of the net early in the third.
He swiped in a rebound after Cloutier made a couple of saves during
a wild scramble in close.
"It's nice to finally get a bounce," said Nolan, who hit a
post midway through the first before finally scoring just his
second goal in 14 games. "A little bit of relief when the puck
Roberts, robbed twice during a four-minute power play, got
through four Canucks and beat Cloutier just after the second
"It's just nice to get things going," Roberts said. "It's
been a tough trip for us and we've all been pressing a bit. They
made it close but we pulled it out."
Cloutier finished with 24 saves.
Toronto RW Nathan Perrott received a major penalty and a
game misconduct for checking Canucks C Artem Chubarov headfirst
into the boards as the first period expired. Chubarov, who missed
Tuesday's game with a shoulder injury, was taken to the hospital
for X-rays and didn't return. ... Canucks LW Jarkko Ruutu was
penalized twice for unsportsmanlike conduct-diving after being hit
by a Leafs player after the whistle. ... Trevor Linden played in
his 1,100 regular season game, his 858th with Vancouver. ... Former
Canucks draft pick Harold Druken played his first game of the
season with Toronto after being recalled from St. John's of the AHL
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Rogers Arena Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Referees: Rob Shick, Brad Watson Linesmen: Lonnie Cameron, Lyle Seitz
Attendance: 18,630 (99.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Gary Roberts (6)
Assist: Bryan McCabe
Robert Reichel (4)
Assists: Owen Nolan, Darcy Tucker
Markus Naslund (6)
Assists: Brent Sopel, Brendan Morrison
Trevor Linden (5)
(Power Play) Assists: Todd Bertuzzi, Markus Naslund
No scoring this period
Owen Nolan (4)
Assists: Matt Stajan, Harold Druken
Gary Roberts (7)
Assists: Robert Reichel, Mats Sundin
Todd Bertuzzi (6)
Assists: Markus Naslund, Brendan Morrison