Leafs bag Thrashers in OT
TORONTO (AP)—Curtis Joseph is happy the long wait for his milestone win is over.
Pavel Kubina scored the winner on a power play 33 seconds into overtime to help the Leafs end a three-game losing streak.
The 41-year-old Joseph earned his first victory since April 5 when he beat Vancouver while with Calgary. He made 29 saves.
“Wins are the most important measure for goalies, I think. Certainly it’s a great accomplishment,” Joseph said. “I think I really read the plays well and really focused in. That’s been my problem. Sometimes you’re only human and you learn.”
“Cujo made three or four huge saves for us, for him, as much as anything to gather some confidence after a shaky start,” Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. “And we got our offense going, we had a ton of shots, a ton of scoring chances.”
Joseph is scheduled to start again when the Maple Leafs host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.
He was making his first start since a 6-3 loss at home to the Thrashers on Nov. 25.
The Maple Leafs fell behind 2-0 early, but Joseph settled down to allow his teammates to rally.
They couldn’t hold that lead, but Tobias Enstrom’s interference penalty with 8.1 seconds left in the third period set up Kubina for the winner.
Joseph stopped Slater on a breakaway to briefly preserve the 2-2 tie.
“They had a few chances, especially on the breakaway,” Kubina said. “Cujo played a great game for us.”
Joseph made a couple of solid saves before that. He was seemingly energized by Stempniak’s goal at 4:16 of the second that made it 2-2.
The Thrashers finished the first period up 2-1.
Little opened the scoring on a power play, completing a nifty passing play by sending Todd White’s centering pass from behind the goal past Joseph at 4:41.
Just over two minutes later, Slater made it 2-0 when he took a brilliant touch pass from Joey Crabb at the blue line, walked in on Joseph and had his rebound trickle just past the goal line.
Kulemin cut into the lead at 8:29 when he converted a nice behind-the-back centering pass from Mikhail Grabovski as he cut behind then goal.
Leafs winger Jeremy Williams suffered a shoulder injury falling awkwardly into the boards early in the first period and didn’t return. He came in with five goals and two assists since his recall Dec. 7. … Stajan (right eye) and tough guy Andre Deveaux were scratched for the Maple Leafs. … Zach Bogosian (broken left leg), the third overall pick last summer, fellow defenseman Scott Lehman (upper body) and center Jason Williams sat out for the Thrashers. … Kulemin ended an eight-game goal-less streak.