TORONTO (AP) -They built a three-goal lead and chased an Olympic-bound goalie before the beginning of the second period, but the Toronto Maple Leafs were powerless against what might be the best line in hockey, falling as much to Alex Burrows and the Sedin twins as they did to the Vancouver Canucks.
The trio combined for five goals in the final 30 minutes, leading the Canucks to a 5-3 victory Saturday night. Vancouver overcame a three-goal, first-period deficit - which resulted in the rare benching of Roberto Luongo - for its seventh straight win.
Burrows and Daniel Sedin each scored twice, while Henrik Sedin, who entered the night as the NHL's scoring leader, added another goal in the win. Andrew Raycroft, the former Leafs goalie, earned the win in relief.
``We're really patient out there,' Henrik Sedin said. ``We know if we don't score in the first two periods, we're going to get chances. And to have that feeling on a line, it makes a big difference - instead of starting to force things, to cheat and do the things you're not supposed to do.'
The trio was shut out for a game last week, and seemed as if it was going to be held in check for the first half of the game in Toronto. That began to change when Burrows scored a short-handed goal midway through the second period to get the Canucks on the board, sparking a fire the Leafs could not contain.
Daniel and Henrik scored 2 minutes apart early in the third period to tie it, and Daniel notched the winner with a little more than 2 minutes left in regulation. Burrows scored into an empty net for his 25th goal of the season.
``They're getting better every year,' Leafs defenseman Francois Beauchemin said about the Sedin twins. ``And Burrows is a big compliment to their line. He's got some speed, a good shot and agitates a little bit.'
Phil Kessel had a pair of goals for the Leafs, while Vesa Toskala lost control of what had been a stellar performance in goal. Toronto is winless in six games.
NOTES: More than 360 Canadian Forces personnel attended the game at the invitation of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. Gen. Walter Natynczyk officiated the ceremonial puck drop before the game, and was visited at center ice by former Leafs goalie Johnny Bower, who was in full military garb. ... Canucks defenseman Sami Salo missed his fourth straight game with a groin injury.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved