Mike Santorelli scored twice last night as the Florida Panthers handed the sinking Maple Leafs a 5-3 loss, an all-too-familiar outcome for fans in Toronto.
Loud chants of “Fire Wilson!’’ directed at coach Ron Wilson were heard twice during the third period as the Leafs lost for the ninth time in 10 games, including all four on a disheartening homestand. Toronto sits 4 points out of a playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
“It’s frustrating, but understandable,’’ Wilson said. “We didn’t do anything at the trade deadline and we came out tentative to say the least.’’
Marcel Goc, Jason Garrison, and Stephen Weiss also scored for Florida, which leads the Southeast Division with 72 points.
A day after GM Brian Burke expressed hope that the passing of the trade deadline would relax the Leafs, the team was felled by another awful start.
Defenseman Luke Schenn let the puck slip off his stick right after the opening faceoff and Wojtek Wolski set Goc up for a goal 13 seconds in. The hole got bigger two minutes later when Santorelli finished off a 2-on-1, setting off boos at Air Canada Centre.
“We’re embarrassed to go out there and play like that in front of our home fans,’’ Schenn said.
Capitals 3, Islanders 2 - Alex Ovechkin scored at 1:35 of overtime after Troy Brouwer tallied twice in the final 3 1/2 minutes of regulation, giving host Washington an improbable win. Blanked by New York goalie Evengi Nabokov for 56 minutes, the Capitals mounted a stunning rally to win their third straight - their longest streak since an identical run in mid-January.
Lightning 2, Canadiens 1 - Steven Stamkos scored his NHL-leading 44th goal of the season and host Tampa Bay handed Montreal its fifth straight loss.
Red Wings 5, Blue Jackets 2 - Henrik Zetterberg scored the go-ahead goal and added an assist, and Johan Franzen added a goal and two assists to help visiting Detroit end a three-game slide.
Hurricanes 4, Predators 3 - Bryan Allen scored his first goal of the season on a breakaway coming out of the penalty box, and host Carolina held on for the victory.
Kings 4, Wild 0 - Backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier stopped 25 shots for his fifth career shutout and Anze Kopitar scored and added an assist as Los Angeles rolled to victory in St. Paul.
Coyotes 2, Canucks 1 - Mike Smith stopped 39 shots, Ray Whitney scored in the third period and during the shootout, and host Phoenix extended its point streak to 12 games.
Sharks 1, Flyers 0 - Ryane Clowe scored the lone goal in the first period and Antti Niemi made 26 saves to lift host San Jose.