Maple Leafs 3, Panthers 0

Walter Villa, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Phil Kessel scored late in the first period, and Ben Scrivens made it stand up with his second straight shutout as the sizzling Toronto Maple Leafs earned a 3-0 victory over the slumping Florida Panthers on Monday night.
Scrivens made 32 saves to earn the win.
Even though the game was played at Florida's BB&T Center, "Let's Go Leafs" chants were loudly audible, especially after Toronto goals.
The Leafs, who have won six of their past seven games, snapped a five-game losing streak in their series against Florida. Last season, the Panthers swept all four games, outscoring Toronto 20-9. The Panthers got five goals in each of those games.
Meanwhile, the Panthers' problems this season persist. Florida has lost five straight games. Five of its past seven games have gone to overtime, but, this time, the Panthers failed to get a point. Their four-game homestand ended with just three points earned.
Kessel put Toronto in front Monday. He took a pass from James van Riemsdyk as the Leafs took advantage of a turnover by Panthers defenseman Mike Weaver. Kessel finished the breakaway by scoring past goalie Jose Theodore with 17:04 elapsed in the first period. It was Kessel's third goal of the season.
The only other first-period highlight was a spirited brawl featuring the Leafs' Colton Orr and Florida's George Parros.
With 12:13 elapsed in the second period, the Leafs got a power-play goal from Nazem Kadri, who was in the slot when he received a pass from behind the net from Dion Phaneuf. It was Kadri's fifth goal of the season, and it was set up by a hooking penalty on Tomas Fleischmann.
Just 1:44 later, Clarke MacArthur scored his third goal of the season to make it 3-0 Toronto. The assists went to Kadri and Cody Franson.
The frustrated Panthers then picked another fight. Florida's Tyson Strachan and Frazer McLaren dropped the gloves for a quick bout.
NOTES: Panthers forward Kris Versteeg (upper-body injury) was scratched for the third straight game. ... Panthers defenseman and team captain Ed Jovanovski (knee injury) resumed skating Friday but is still about two weeks away from being able to play. "It's disappointing to him and disappointing to us," Florida coach Kevin Dineen said. "He leaves a void on our team, both on and off the ice." ... The Maple Leafs are playing well despite the loss of starting goalie James Reimer, who suffered a knee injury on Feb. 11. Scrivens, 26, got his first career shutout Saturday, blanking Ottawa 3-0. ... Meanwhile, in their past five games, the Panthers were maddeningly inconsistent on offense, scoring, in order, zero, five, zero, five and zero goals. The only consistent thing for the Panthers: losing. "We're not a complete team right now," Dineen said after the Panthers lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-5 Saturday, blowing a two-goal lead for the second time in a week. "We're not finishing games." ... The Leafs conclude their Florida swing Tuesday with a game at Tampa Bay. ... The Panthers will visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.

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