Wednesday, February 05, 2014
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Panthers cruise past Maple Leafs

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[February 05, 2014]  SUNRISE, Fla.  Panthers 4, Maple Leafs 1: Shawn Matthias scored an unassisted goal with just over 6 1/2 minutes to play to thwart a comeback as host Florida snapped Toronto's three-game winning streak.

Defenseman Tom Gilbert netted a power-play goal and Jesse Winchester scored early in the third period to help the Panthers halt a three-game skid in which they were outscored 16-6. Marcel Goc added an empty-net goal, Brian Campbell collected a pair of assists and Tim Thomas turned aside 20 shots and ended a seven-game streak in which he surrendered at least three goals.

David Clarkson scored the only goal for the Maple Leafs, who lost for only the third time in their last 12 games (9-2-1). Jonathan Bernier made 44 saves and was immense in the opening two periods, when Toronto was outshot 37-12.

Winchester gave Florida a 2-0 edge 5:21 into the third period when Campbell's wrister from the top of the left circle deflected off him and past Bernier. Toronto cut the deficit in half four minutes later when Nazem Kadri forced a turnover and set up Clarkson for a wrister that beat Thomas short side.

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Matthias restored the two-goal cushion just under four minutes later, pouncing on a turnover from defenseman Cody Franson and breaking down the left side before wristing a shot over the right pad of Bernier. Gilbert opened the scoring 74 seconds into the middle session with a straight-on blast past a screened Bernier.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Maple Leafs RW Phil Kessel had his four-game point streak stopped and was held off the scoresheet for only the second time in 13 games. ... Thomas improved to 21-6-5 lifetime against Toronto. ... Clarkson's goal was his first point in 10 games.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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