|Toronto, Montreal dominate in Original Six matchups|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 07 December 2007 02:41|
While Detroit and Chicago were off Thursday night, the Maple Leafs and Canadiens were up to their old Original Six tricks in road victories over the Rangers and Bruins.
Nik Antropov led Toronto past New York, scoring three consecutive goals in the Maple Leafs' 6-2 victory over the slumping Rangers. In Boston, Chris Higgins had a goal and two assists in Montreal's seventh straight victory over the Bruins, a 4-2 decision.
Toronto, which closed the Original Six era in 1967 with its most-recent Stanley Cup title, beat the Rangers in both road meetings this season - outscoring them 9-3.
The Maple Leafs scored six times on 16 shots. Combined with a season-low 15-shot effort in a 3-1 home victory over Nashville on Tuesday night, Toronto won consecutive games with a mere 31 shots on goal.
``Obviously, we'd like to get more than we had these last two games,'' captain Mats Sundin said. ``We've got to produce more shots than 16 if we want to be successful, but at least we're not giving up the high-quality scoring chances. Not too many, anyway.''
In other NHL games Thursday night, Pittsburgh beat Calgary 3-2 in a shootout, Los Angeles routed Buffalo 8-2, Vancouver beat Nashville 5-2, and Tampa Bay held off Carolina 2-1.
Antropov used a series of tips and deflections to score three goals for the first time since Dec. 20, 1999, at Florida. The 6-foot-6 Russian chased Henrik Lundqvist from the net and carried Toronto to its season-high fourth straight victory.
``Almost exactly eight years,'' Antropov said. ``I remember it though.''
He scored on all three of his shots, and has five goals in three games after going 10 straight without one.
``I didn't think about it a lot,'' Antropov said. ``Nobody can go the whole 82 games scoring every game or every second game.''
Matt Stajan, Sundin and Alex Steen added goals for the Maple Leafs, and Vesa Toskala made 23 saves. Defensemen Dan Girardi and Fedor Tyutin had power-play goals for the Rangers in their fourth loss in five home games. New York was outscored 9-2 in consecutive home losses to Carolina and Toronto.
Steve Valiquette started the third period for New York in relief of Lundqvist, who allowed four goals for the second straight game after going 18 straight without giving up more than three.
``I don't know the reason,'' Lundqvist said. ``I know I have to play better.''
Montreal snapped a three-game losing streak with the victory. The Canadiens have outscored the Bruins 28-11 during the seven-game winning streak.
``I can't explain it,'' Higgins said. ``I don't know why we do so well against them. It was huge. We needed to get back on the winning side.''
Higgins, Kyle Chipchura and Tomas Plekanec scored goals on the first six shots of the game against Tuukka Rask, forced into the starting role with Tim Thomas out with an apparent groin injury. Mathieu Dandenault added a third-period goal for Montreal, and rookie Carey Price made 24 saves to improve to 7-4-1.
Phil Kessel and P.J. Axelsson scored for Boston.
Penguins 3, Flames 2, SO
At Calgary, Alberta, defenseman Kris Letang scored in the fourth round of a shootout to lift Pittsburgh in Sidney Crosby's first NHL game in Calgary.
Letang ended it after Petr Sykora scored and Crosby and Evgeni Malkin missed.
Kristian Huselius scored Calgary's lone goal in the shootout, while Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay and Matthew Lombardi failed to convert.
Iginla had two goals in regulation, and Malkin and Ryan Malone, with a short-handed goal, scored for the Penguins. It was the first meeting between the clubs since Dec. 3, 2005, in Pittsburgh.
Kings 8, Sabres 2
At Los Angeles, Dustin Brown had two goals and an assist, defenseman Tom Preissing scored twice on power plays and Michal Handzus had a short-handed goal for Los Angeles.
The Kings, who hadn't scored more than three goals in any of their previous 11 games, had their biggest offensive output since an 8-6 home victory over Atlanta on Jan. 19, 2006.
Derek Armstrong and Jaroslav Modry scored their first goals of the season, Anze Kopitar had a career-high four assists, and Michael Cammalleri had a goal and two assists. Jonathan Quick, pressed into service because of injuries to Jason LaBarbera and Jean-Sebastien Aubin, made 15 saves in his NHL debut.
Drew Stafford and Thomas Vanek scored for the Sabres.
Canucks 5, Predators 2
At Nashville, Tenn., Daniel Sedin scored two third-period goals, and backup goalie Curtis Sanford made 26 saves for Vancouver.
Alex Burrows, Taylor Pyatt and Trevor Linden also scored for the Canucks. Jed Ortmeyer and Martin Erat scored for Nashville.
Lightning 2, Hurricanes 1
At Tampa, Fla., Vincent Lecavalier scored his 19th goal of the season, and Tampa Bay won its third straight after a six-game losing streak.
Martin St. Louis added a third-period goal for the Lightning. Johan Holmqvist made 23 saves, allowing only Cory Stillman's goal with 14 seconds left.