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Toronto 3, Carolina 2
Posted: Wednesday January 29, 2003 11:35 PM
Toronto Maple Leafs
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Carolina Hurricanes
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Raleigh-Durham
 

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Mats Sundin ended the third-longest scoring drought in team history with a pair of power-play goals as the Toronto Maple Leafs held on for a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Toronto's drought reached 163 minutes, 34 seconds before Sundin's first power-play tally 4:28 into the second period.

Alexander Mogilny, who missed two games with back problems, sent a cross-ice pass to the left faceoff circle and Sundin wristed a shot over the left shoulder of goaltender Arturs Irbe.

"It makes a big difference with (Mogilny) on the power play," Sundin said. "He really worked the puck around on the power play. We showed some patience. And if you find a hole, Alex will find you."

The Maple Leafs' captain struck again at 1:48 of the third to make it 2-0, finishing off a give-and-go with Mogilny for his 22nd goal.

Jan Hlavac halved Carolina's deficit and ended an 18-game drought less than two minutes later, stuffing the puck inside the left goalpost.

"We have to move the puck better," said Hlavac, who had not scored since December 18. "We have to work on our power play, for sure, and shoot more."

Mogilny capped his three-point night with 3:15 remaining, but Ron Francis answered with a shorthanded goal just under two minutes later to get the Hurricanes within 3-2.

"Tonight the difference was the power play," Mogilny said. "We got some pretty good chances out there. Some happened to go in."

While trailing 1-0 in the second period, Carolina failed to capitalize on a four-minute power play after Darcy Tucker received a double-minor for high-sticking.

"Even after the four-minute power play, it was still 1-0. One shot could have turned it around," Francis said. "I thought we continued to battle and create opportunities, but it was still the same old inability to score on those that you created. It cost us again."

Carolina has scored only 20 goals during a 1-8-0-2 stretch.

"It is just a matter of finding a way to get those goals to go in for us," Francis added. "Once that happens, the confidence will come with it. Our play of late has been a lot better."

Irbe, who stopped 19 shots, agreed.

"The effort has been there for the last three games. That is not the issue," he said. "We have to win, it doesn't matter how."

Toronto was able to hold on as Ed Belfour made 25 saves in the first meeting of the teams since last season's rugged Eastern Conference finals.

"This was a big two points for us, and we are going to have to continue it," Sundin said. "We want to make sure that the teams we are playing stay behind us."

 


 
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