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Florida 4, Toronto 1
Posted: Thursday October 24, 2002 12:50 AM
Florida Panthers
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Toronto Maple Leafs
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TORONTO (Ticker) -- Olli Jokinen scored two goals and the Florida Panthers played excellent special teams to hand the Toronto Maple Leafs their fifth loss in seven games, 4-1.

Jokinen scored on a power play with 5:03 left in the second period to break a 1-1 tie. With 31 seconds left, he put a bow on the win with his fifth goal of the season, an empty-netter from center ice.

Earlier in the third period, Marcus Nilson took advantage of Jonas Hoglund's turnover and went in on a shorthanded breakaway. He faked to his right, then moved the puck to his left to slip it past Ed Belfour.

"When you get a breakaway, you want to make sure you score," Nilson said. "It doesn't happen all the time. I wanted to go five-hole, he closed it up. I was going to shoot, so I just held onto it."

Belfour made 26 saves, struggling from the start. Just over four minutes into the game, Jokinen shoved the puck toward the goaltender from the side of the crease. Belfour let the shot trickle between his pads, and Valeri Bure nudged it home for his first goal of the year.

"When things are going bad, it seems that every mistake goes in your net," Leafs defenseman Bryan McCabe said. "That's what happened tonight."

The Maple Leafs have lost four of their first five home games. Toronto also lost all three of its home games in last season's Eastern Conference finals loss to Carolina.

"We want to pick it up and it's not there," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "We can confuse it for lack of passion, but that's not the case. ... We want to do the right things and we're not. We're beating ourselves right now."

Toronto's power play was 0-of-5. The Maple Leafs have converted just one of their last 16 opportunities with the man advantage.

The lone bright spot for the Maple Leafs was the productive debut of 19-year-old defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo, a Toronto native. Colaiacovo assisted on the Maple Leafs' only goal, scored by Nik Antropov 3:21 into the second period.

"Obviously it's an accomplishment, but there'd be more smiles if the team played well and we won," Colaiacovo said. "If the team wins, you win. Right now, that's not the feeling in the dressing room."

Roberto Luongo made 30 saves to help the Panthers snap a three-game road losing streak.

 


 
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