Leafs Blow Past Oilers

Brian Mills, left, of Merango, Wis., tries to catch one of his dogs, which jumped out of his sled as he and Peter Bartlett, of Wasilla, Alaska, drove their teams through the blowing snow on the Yukon River outside Ruby, Alaska, Saturday, March 11, 2006, during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
AP Photo/Al Grillo

Toronto Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn had reason to smile Saturday two of his top players finally appeared to be back on track.

Steve Thomas ended a 13-game goal drought with his second goal of the season, and Mats Sundin recorded his 400th point with Toronto as the Maple Leafs defeated the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 on Saturday.

Jonas Hoglund also had a goal and two assists and Sergei Berezin had a goal.

Related Links

Game summary

More NHL features:

  • Enforce-O-Meter rankings
  • Next Generation
  • Exclusive audio
  • "In the past three games they've all been pretty good," Quinn said. "Hoglund was probably the only consistent guy before that. Mats and Steve weren't particularly sharp in any area lately."

    Thomas also had two assists.

    "I wasn't getting my chances for a while so I had to re-evaluate my game," he said. "I decided I needed to go to the net more and be grittier and that would open me up more as well as my linemates."

    Sundin's second goal, into an empty net, made him the 18th player in Maple Leaf history to record 400 points with the team.

    "I didn't know (until it happened) so I got the puck after the game and I'm going to make sure I frame that," said Sundin, who has 11 goals on the season. "I didn't think when I came into this league that I would be able to do something like that. I'm really proud of it."

    Berezin scored his 10th goal of the season as the Leafs moved ahead of the idle Philadelphia Flyers to take first place in the Eastern Conference.

    Yanic Perreault added a pair of assists, giving him a team-high 21 points.

    Bill Guerin, who also ha an assist, and Josef Beranek scored for the Oilers. Todd Marchant also had a pair of assists.

    The Leafs were outshot 34-22, but received strong goaltending from Curtis Joseph, who improved to 11-6-3.

    The Leafs have beaten the Oilers the last four times.

    "We did some good things, but there's still 60 games left for us," said Edmonton coach Kevin Lowe.

    The Maple Leafs were outshot 34-22, but got strong goaltending from Curtis Joseph.

    Sundin's first goal gave Toronto a 3-2 lead with 2:31 remaining in the second period. Sundin jammed in a rebound off Mike Johnson's shot.

    Thomas opened the scoring 7:28 into the game when his intended pass for Sundin bounced off Edmonton's Ryan Smyth and into the net. Sundin was originally credited with the goal, but it was later determined he didn't touch the puck.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed