Final

Series (Game 1 of 4)

Florida leads 4-0

Game 1: Tuesday, January 6th
Panthers4Final
Maple Leafs2
Game 2: Tuesday, February 3rd
Panthers4Final
OT
Maple Leafs3
Game 3: Tuesday, February 10th
Maple Leafs4Final
OT
Panthers5
Game 4: Thursday, March 19th
Maple Leafs1Final
Panthers3

Panthers 4

(18-16-6, 42 pts)

Maple Leafs 2

(16-18-6, 38 pts)

Coverage: TSN

7:30 PM ET, January 6, 2009

Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

1 2 3 T
FLA 2 1 14
TOR 0 0 22

J. Bouwmeester (Panthers - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

G. Campbell (Panthers - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

J. Mitchell (Maple Leafs - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Panthers charge Leafs early, cruise past Maple Leafs

Associated Press

TORONTO -- Bryan McCabe helped deflect the boos of the Toronto Maple Leafs' fans from him to their own team.

McCabe, a former Leafs defenseman who was traded to Florida in the offseason, had an assist on the game's first goal and the Florida Panthers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 on Tuesday night.

"They were really flat," McCabe said. "We really outplayed them, got up a couple, and we really didn't look back from there. It was a good game."

Stephen Weiss, Ville Peltonen, Michael Frolik and Gregory Campbell scored goals for the Panthers. Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun stopped 24 shots.

Alexei Ponikarovsky and Jason Blake scored for the Maple Leafs. Vesa Toskala made 30 saves.

The Panthers got a quick jump on the Leafs, registering 10 shots on goal in the first five minutes of the game before eventually building a 3-0 lead after two periods.

Weiss beat Toskala with a high wrist shot at 10:16 of the first period to open the scoring. McCabe got an assist. The shots were 11-0 for Florida at that point.

"The boos weren't too bad out there," McCabe said. "I got it much worse when I played here. It was fine."

"The guys around here have been booing him to get him prepared, kind of getting him immune to it for the last two days," Florida coach Peter DeBoer said. "I've got all the respect in the world for Bryan McCabe. I think he's handled the situation like a consummate professional and I can't say enough. I can't imagine anyone would handle the situation better than he has."

Peltonen extended the lead to 2-0 at 17:38 after taking a nice pass from Campbell and beating Toskala with a quick shot.

Frolik made it 3-0 at 14:18 of the second. He skated into the middle of the Leafs' zone and connected on a wrist shot.

"I was not very happy with the effort," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "We had zero energy at all from any veteran players, to show up and lead the way. It was a quiet room before the game, it was quiet on the bench.

"We've got to find a way to get a little bit more passion or energy when we play a team like that."

Ponikarovsky's power-play goal early in the third period briefly gave the Leafs some hope, but Campbell restored Florida's three-goal advantage by tipping a point shot home at 10:20.

Blake made a nice play to knock in his own rebound on a short-handed breakaway at 12:09. It was Toronto's first short-handed goal since last season.

Game notes


World junior gold medalists Cody Hodgson and Cody Goloubef were given a loud ovation before the game ... Florida's David Booth assisted on the first goal to extend his points streak to six games ... Toronto forward John Mitchell had two assists ... Leafs executive Joe Nieuwendyk played for both teams and worked in Florida's front office after retiring.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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