Peca given a break to heal

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

Conspicuous by his absence from the Maple Leafs lineup last night was centre Michael Peca.

But Peca said after the Leafs' 5-4 overtime win against the Calgary Flames that he expects to be in uniform for Toronto's next game, on Wednesday night when the Colorado Avalanche visits. Peca did not play after experiencing soreness in his hip flexor area, a problem that reared its head during training camp.

"I had some treatment (yesterday afternoon) and it seems to be responding," Peca said. "This is not tightness. It is beyond the tight phase."

While his teammates get a full day off today, Peca will receive more treatment and said he will return to practice tomorrow.

Peca is two games shy of 700 for his career. John Pohl replaced him last night between Alex Steen and Chad Kilger.

SUNDIN WOWS FLAMES

The laser by Mats Sundin that won the game for the Leafs had the Flames talking.

"On that last goal, how many people could stop that?" Flames captain Jarome Iginla said.

"He got it all. It was -- you don't want to call it a nice goal, but it was impressive.

"He was really going (last night). He has had a lot of good nights against us over his career."

Sundin got the shot away with little space in which to work.

"You have to be so tight on him," Flames defenceman Andrew Ference said. "He has that half-slapper he can get off in half a second. If you don't have a tight gap, he will eat you alive."

YOUTH BRIGADE

Defenceman Brendan Bell, who appeared in one game for the Leafs last season, made his season debut after suffering an ankle injury in a pre-season game. The Leafs had a young blue line, with rookies Bell, Ian White and Jay Harrison all suiting up. Bell and Harrison were partners.

"That old mentality of not giving young guys a chance is a thing of the past," Harrison said. "If you look at the league as a whole, young guys are making a lot of difference and are taking on big roles with a lot of teams."


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