Ian White scored the winning goal with 82 seconds left as the struggling Toronto Maple Leafs edged the high-flying Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 on Sunday. White fired a slap shot past the Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to give Toronto their first win in four games. "I didn't see much net there, but most goalies leave the corners open. I just happened to find one," said White.
The decisive goal came just 53 seconds after the Penguins' Michael Rupp had levelled the game at 3-3. "We didn't sit back and wait for overtime. We wanted to get the puck in deep," said the Maple Leafs coach, Ron Wilson. The loss prevented Pittsburgh from taking over first place in the Atlantic Division. Pittsburgh and New Jersey each have 53 points but the Devils have played three fewer games. Toronto, with the second-most porous defence in the NHL, continue to be cellar dwellers in the Northeast.
Lee Stempniak had a goal and two assists for the Leafs, whose other scorer was Luke Schenn. Patrick Kane struck his second goal of the game with overtime looming as the Chicago Blackhawks jumped to the top of the overall NHL standings with a 5-4 win over the Nashville Predators. Kane scored with 44 seconds remaining to clinch a thrilling match in which Chicago trailed twice before rushing into a 4-2 lead, only for Nashville to score two goals in a minute.
"We've had some amazing games, some spectacular endings, and tonight was one of them," said the Chicago coach, Joel Quenneville. "It's all about finding a way to win. You win in different ways. I don't recall giving up a two-goal lead late, and finding a way to circumvent it was pretty impressive." Goals from Jeff Carter and Danny Briere gave the Philadelphia Flyers a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders, their 13th straight against the team from Long Island.
Mason Raymond's hat-trick carried the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-1 victory at the Calgary Flames. Calgary had taken the lead through Jarome Iginla, but Henrik Sedin and Kyle Wellwood put Vancouver into the lead before Raymond took over. The Buffalo Sabres came from 3-2 down to beat the St Louis Blues 5-3, with Tim Connolly and Mike Grier both netting twice and Jochen Hecht also finding the net.
Marco Sturm scored the decider in the third period as the Boston Bruins beat the Florida Panthers 2-1 in another tight game, with a clutch save from Tim Thomas preventing the Panthers from tying it up with four seconds left. * With agencies