Panthers can’t stop Sundin


TORONTO – Mats Sundin had four goals and two assists and Tomas Kaberle scored with 11 seconds left in overtime to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 6-5 victory over the Florida Panthers.

After Florida’s Nathan Horton was penalized for holding, Sundin passed to Kaberle, whose one-timer from the faceoff circle gave Toronto the victory.

The Maple Leafs, however, are in danger of missing the postseason for the first time since 1997-98. Toronto began the game seven points back in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They have four games left.

Sundin was one short of his career high of five goals, set March 4, 1992, against Hartford while he played for Quebec.

Joe Nieuwendyk scored three goals and added an assist for the Panthers, who been eliminated from playoff contention.

Sundin it at 4 at 3:11 of the third on the power play and gave Toronto the lead at 11:10 of the third after redirecting a pass from the boards as he stood alone in front of the net. Nieuwendyk, however, assisted on Jay Bouwmeester’s tying goal at 16:37 of the third.

Toronto outshot Florida 52-26, reaching a season high in shots.

Nik Antropov also scored for Toronto.

Olli Jokinen and Jay Bouwmeester added goals for the Panthers.

Jokinen scored his 37th goal of the season on a breakaway by firing a slap shot past Jean-Sebastien Aubin at 7:29 of the first. Just 32 seconds later Nieuwendyk gave Florida 2-0 lead with a one-timer at after skating in on a 2-on-1.

Sundin scored on a power play by blasting a loose puck past McLennan at 12:23 of the first.

Toronto trailed after one despite outshooting Florida 18-7.

Sundin scored his second 49 seconds into the second with another slap shot on a power play. A couple of former Leafs helped Florida regain the lead, with Gary Roberts assisting on Nieuwendyk’s second goal at 4:00 of the second.

Antropov tied it at 3 on the power play at 18:08 of the second with a one-timer from in front of the net, his third goal in the past six games.

Matt Stajan had a chance to give Toronto shortly after that, but his shot hit the cross bar – one of few Toronto chances that hit off the post or cross bar.

Nieuwendyk regained the lead for Florida at 1:04 of the third by skating in on a breakaway after Sean Hill flipped the puck up to him. Toronto defenseman Ian White failed to get in front of Nieuwendyk or top the puck from getting to him.

But Sundin tied it on the power play at 3:11 of the third with another slap shot for his seventh career hat trick and his ninth four-point game of his career.

Fans threw their hats to the ice in celebration.

Notes: Former Leafs captain Doug Gilmour attended the game. Walter Gretzky also was in attendance. … Antropov has eight points in his last six games.

AP-ES-04-11-06 2236EDT