- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2009

SUNRISE, FLA. (AP) - Stephen Weiss had a short-handed goal and an assist, and Tomas Vokoun made 37 saves in the Florida Panthers’ 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

Richard Zednik and Ville Peltonen also scored, and David Booth had two assists to help the Panthers end a four-game losing streak and complete a season sweep of Toronto. The Panthers hadn’t swept Toronto since 1995-96, when they only faced each other twice.

Florida is ninth in the Eastern Conference, a point behind Montreal and Carolina in the race for one of the eight playoff spots. The Panthers, coming off a 3-0 loss to Washington on Tuesday night in which they were held without a shot in the third period, haven’t been to the playoffs since 2000.

Mikhail Grabovski scored for Toronto, and Martin Gerber made 39 saves.

Florida went up 2-1 on Zednik’s goal at 6:21 in the second period. Zednik took a pass from Booth and his shot went between the legs of Gerber as Toronto defenseman Andre Deveaux slid into his goalie. Peltonen made it 3-1 at 7:48 of the second with a backhander from the side of the net that trickled through Gerber’s legs.

Grabovski scored on a power play with 1:52 left in the first period to tie it at 1. Grabovski was near the crease when he one-timed a pass from Jamal Mayers from behind the net.

Weiss’ goal at 7:15 in the first put the Panthers up 1-0. Weiss beat defenseman Anton Stralman, who lost his balance after being deked, and came in alone on Gerber. Weiss put a backhander into the top of the net for his 12th goal of the season.

Weiss had two goals and four assists in Florida’s three previous games against the Maple Leafs this season, but had not scored since March 1.

Notes:@ Florida had two shots in the first minute. … The Panthers had 19 shots in the second period, one off their season high for shots in a period. … Florida C Kamil Kreps limped off the ice in the second period after he became tangled with Toronto RW Jeff Hamilton and crashed skates-first into the boards, but he returned to game.

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