FLA
38-26-18
TOR
35-37-10

28 SOG
39 SOG

Panthers 5, Maple Leafs 1

Associated Press | Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

TORONTO (AP) - The Florida Panthers took advantage of shaky Maple Leafs goaltending to help them to their best start since the 1996-97 season.

Jack Skille, Marco Sturm, Tomas Kopecky, Sean Bergenheim and Shawn Matthias scored for Florida in a 5-1 win over Toronto on Tuesday night.

Jose Theodore finished with 38 saves for the Panthers.

"We played a good game," Theodore said. "The Leafs came out hard in the first period, but we didn't get intimidated. We showed them that we were prepared to play. We got the momentum and didn't let go."

The Maple Leafs, struggling without injured goalie James Reimer, were booed by the home fans for the second straight game after Jonas Gustavsson surrendered three soft goals.

Phil Kessel scored Toronto's lone goal.

Reimer has missed eight games because of concussion symptoms following a hit by Montreal's Brian Gionta on Oct. 22. There is no timetable for Reimer's return.

"I really don't know (when he'll be back). I can't comment on that because I simply don't know," Toronto coach Ron Wilson said.

The Maple Leafs (9-5-1) got by initially with Gustavsson and third-stringer Ben Scrivens, but they haven't played with confidence recently.

"They've got to work hard in practice," Wilson said. "That's their responsibility to sit there with (goalie coach Francois Allaire) and go over the games. At least we go on the road, where maybe they can relax a little bit and not worry about what's going to happen if they make a mistake.

"Tomorrow, they'll hopefully bounce back."

It certainly hasn't helped that Toronto's offense has struggled. The Maple Leafs ended a scoreless streak of 137 minutes, 59 seconds before Kessel scored his NHL-leading 11th goal in the third period. By then the game was out of reach.

"Sometimes that goes hand in hand," Wilson said. "If you're not sure what's going to happen in the back, you play a little cautious."

The Leafs were looking to bounce back after being hammered 7-0 by Boston on Saturday night, but Gustavsson spotted the Panthers an early lead. Skille had an open net for his first goal of the season at 9:45 after Gustavsson slid well out of his crease.

Toronto looked poised to tie the game during a strong start to the second period that forced Panthers coach Kevin Dineen to call a timeout.

Instead, goals 19 seconds apart chased Gustavsson and gave Florida (7-4-3) a 3-0 lead. On the first one, Gustavsson mishandled the puck behind the net. Sturm cashed in at 16:28 before Kopecky beat him on a rush that developed off the ensuing faceoff.

"It's just one of those nights where we don't get the bounces," Gustavsson said. "Everything just hit the post and deflects and bounced back and forth. Overall, I felt pretty good."

Fans cheered when Leafs coach Ron Wilson sent Scrivens in to replace him.

"We've got to shore up our goaltending obviously," Wilson said.

The rookie had a couple good moments - stopping former Leafs forward Kris Versteeg on a breakaway - but he allowed goals to Bergenheim and Matthias in the third period. He might earn his third NHL start when Toronto plays at St. Louis on Thursday night. The Blues won their first game under new coach Ken Hitchcock on Tuesday night.

"In my mind (I know who I'll start), but I don't have to share it," Wilson said. "Why don't I just call Hitch? Does anybody have a cellphone? I'll call Hitch and tell him who's going to play.

"We'll make the decision at practice tomorrow or even the next day. I want to see how the goalies play in practice, how they rebound from this and we'll go from there."

NOTES: Leafs rookie forward Matt Frattin was minus-2 through 40 minutes in his first game since being recalled from the AHL. ... Cody Franson, Jay Rosehill and Colton Orr were scratched for Toronto. ... Rookie D Erik Gudbranson sat out a third straight game for the Panthers.

1st2nd3rdT
FLA
TOR
Scoring Summary
1st Period
09:45FLA Jack Skille (1) ASST: Mike Weaver (6) 1 - 0 FLA
2nd Period
16:28FLA Marco Sturm (1) ASST: Jack Skille (3), Keaton Ellerby (1) 2 - 0 FLA
16:47FLA Tomas Kopecky (3) ASST: Dmitry Kulikov (10), Scottie Upshall (2) 3 - 0 FLA
3rd Period
02:32FLA Sean Bergenheim (2) ASST: Shawn Matthias (3), Matt Bradley (1) 4 - 0 FLA
03:30TOR Phil Kessel (11) ASST: Carl Gunnarsson (5), Joffrey Lupul (9) 4 - 1 FLA
16:35FLA Shawn Matthias (2) ASST: Jason Garrison (2) 5 - 1 FLA
Three Stars of the Game
Jose Theodore
1st
Jose Theodore
G
SA: 39TOI: 59:59
GA: 1EV: 33-34
PIM: 0PP: 5-5
SV%: .974SH: 0-0
Jack Skille
2nd
Jack Skille
RW
G: 1Shots: 5
A: 1Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 16:37
Shawn Matthias
3rd
Shawn Matthias
C
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 10:40
Penalty Summary
1st Period
01:13FLA Mike Santorelli  Hi-sticking against  Jake Gardiner
17:12TOR Mikhail Grabovski  Hooking against  Brian Campbell
2nd Period
09:23TOR John-Michael Liles  Slashing against  Keaton Ellerby
17:56FLA Tomas Fleischmann  Cross checking against  Phil Kessel
3rd Period
NONE
shots by period
PeriodFLATOR
1st148
2nd718
3rd713
Total2839
Team Stats
CategoryFLATOR
Power Plays0/20/2
Hits1733
Faceoff Wins2824
Giveaways1616
Takeaways1214
Blocked Shots1820
Penalty Minutes44
  • FLORIDA
  • TORONTO
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
4K. EllerbyD0142013:14
7D. KulikovD0112020:17
9S. WeissC00-11017:50
12J. SkilleR1125016:37
13M. SantorelliC0010213:10
14T. FleischmannL0013218:55
16M. SturmL1002014:09
18S. MatthiasC1122010:40
19S. UpshallL0110013:10
20S. BergenheimL1012011:45
22M. BradleyR012009:06
32K. VersteegL00-11018:36
43M. WeaverD0110020:56
51B. CampbellD0001025:41
52J. GarrisonD01-11024:53
55E. JovanovskiD0031014:59
57M. GocC0022017:20
82T. KopeckyR1023014:43
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
60J. Theodore3839.97459:59
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
2L. SchennD00-33012:38
3D. PhaneufD0001024:57
8M. KomisarekD00-12017:50
11P. DupuisC00-1006:44
15M. LombardiC00-30013:18
16C. MacArthurL00-21016:51
18M. BrownR00-1206:44
19J. LupulL0115020:21
20D. SteckelC00-1209:35
24J. LilesD00-34221:14
36C. GunnarssonD0101021:52
39M. FrattinR00-33011:59
41N. KuleminL00-16017:06
42T. BozakC0012016:56
46J. CrabbR00-20013:59
51J. GardinerD00-11022:01
81P. KesselR1013020:44
84M. GrabovskiC00-13221:11
#GoaliesSvSASv%TOI
30B. Scrivens57.71423:13
50J. Gustavsson1821.85736:47