Leafs win (it's not a typo)

BILL LANKHOF -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:15 AM ET

John Ferguson for mayor!

Okay, maybe not. But the Maple Leafs took a bit of the heat off their boss last night. with a 5-4 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

They did it with the help of some curious bounces and a long-lost power play -- neither of which they have had going their way much of the season.

One goal came on a shot off the end boards. Another came in a scramble when Alexei Ponikarovsky got his first goal in 14 games, using a swing to make Tiger Woods proud.

"I think it's the longest streak for me without scoring. Eventually I knew I'd get one. Ugly or not they all count. All that matters is that we won," Ponikarovsky said as Toronto snapped a five-game losing streak, winning for only the second time since New Years.

"For the team this is a huge win because we've been kind of down. It's good emotionally. Everyone is happy right now."

Happiness is Tomas Kaberle and Matt Stajan scoring on power plays -- only the second time in 15 games since Dec. 10 that the Leafs had scored twice in one game on a power play that ranked 27th in the league.

Happiness is the line of newcomer Dominic Moore, Boyd Devereaux and Chad Kilger showing lots of energy with Kilger making a nifty move to put Toronto up 2-1 midway through the second period.

Happiness is Anton Stralman, who drew gasps from the crowd with an end-to-end rush in the opening minutes of the second, glancing a shot off the short side of the net.

"I'm feeling a lot more comfortable," said Stralman, who was named the No. 1 star by Leafs TV.

With just 65 seconds left in the second, Stralman ripped a shot from the point. It richocheted off the end board, hit goalie Michael Leighton's stick and sat on the goal line before a diving Stajan poked it home for a 3-2 lead and Toronto's second power-play goal. It's the kind of bounce the Leafs haven't seen go their way.

"There's always pressure but there's no doubt we really needed this game," goalie Vesa Toskala said.

Nik Antropov took a shot off his left leg in the third and didn't play another shift. Coach Paul Maurice said x-rays were negative.


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