Wed, Dec 22, 2010 - Page 19 News List

NHL: Surging Thrashers smash the Leafs

Reuter and AP, TORONTO

A Toronto Maple Leafs ice crew member picks up waffles after fans threw them onto the ice during the Leafs’ game against Atlanta on Monday in Toronto.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Fredrik Modin and Tobias Enstrom each scored a pair of goals as the red-hot Atlanta Thrashers dumped the slumping Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3 on Monday.

Anthony Stewart and Andrew Ladd also scored as the Thrashers notched their sixth win in nine games to reclaim top spot in the Southeast Division from the Washington Capitals.

All three Toronto goals came on the power-play as Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin and John Mitchell — with his first of the season — found the back of the net.

Another lackluster effort sends the struggling Maple Leafs into their five-day Christmas break on a three-game losing skid.

Certainly there was no Christmas cheer for the home team as the capacity crowd mercilessly booed the Leafs late in the game and then showered the ice with waffles, in what has become a curious way for Toronto fans to protest the team’s poor play.

The Thrashers scored on two of their first three shots, Modin beating Jonas Gustavsson with slap-shot and Enstrom adding a power-play tally 28 seconds later.

Toronto recovered from the early lapse, pulling one back in the second when Mitchell pounced on a big rebound and ripped a wrist-shot past Ondrej Pavelec before Modin restored Thrashers’ two-goal cushion with 56 seconds remaining in the period.

Atlanta put the game away with two quick goals to open the third, Stewart and Enstrom both beating Gustavsson from long range to chase the Swede from the Toronto net in favor of backup James Reimer.

With boos echoing through the Air Canada Centre, the Leafs responded with a late rally, Grabovski and Kulemin potting power-play goals 15 seconds apart to slice the Atlanta lead to 5-3.

However, Ladd snuffed out any thought of Toronto comeback with an empty-netter with 25 seconds left to play.

PANTHERS 5, FLYERS 0

In Philadelphia, Tomas Vokoun earned his fourth shutout of the season to help Florida easily beat league-leading Philadelphia.

Rookie Evgeny Dadonov had a goal and an assist, while Bill Thomas, Shawn Matthias, Mike Santorelli and Dmitry Kulikov also scored for the Panthers.

In Monday’s other action, it was:

‧ Penguins 6, Coyotes 1

‧ Ducks 3, Bruins 0

‧ Canucks 3, Blues 1

‧ Lightning 5, Hurricanes 1

‧ Wild 4, Flames 1

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