Penalties plague Predators, big lead vanishes in loss at Toronto

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 9:34pm
Staff reports

The Nashville Predators were called for six consecutive second-period penalties Tuesday in their first visit to Toronto in nearly two years. The result was five goals.

Marcel Goc scored the first, shorthanded. That was the good news.

The Maple Leafs scored the next four, including two by Kris Versteeg 59 seconds apart, as they overcame a three-goal deficit, and the Predators were dealt a 5-4 defeat in the first of four road games over a seven-day span.

Toronto’s four power-play goals were twice as many as Nashville had allowed in any game this season and as many as in the previous six contests combined.

The penalty box parade began with four consecutive calls against defensemen, two against Ryan Suter. Kevin Klein was sent off for delay of game 19 seconds after Suter’s first violation (slashing), and Versteeg launched the Maple Leafs’ comeback when he converted 46 seconds into the two-man advantage.

Suter went off again for hooking fewer than two minutes later, and Versteeg made it 4-2 just 13 seconds after that.

Toronto (6-8-3), which did not have a penalty called against it until the third period, also took advantage of a goaltender interference call against Patric Hornqvist and a hooking call against Joel Ward.

Nashville (7-6-3) jumped out to a 3-0 lead within the first 12 minutes. Jordin Tootoo and Martin Erat capped that scoring surge with goals 10 seconds apart. David Legwand had two assists, including on on J.P. Dumont’s goal, which started the scoring at 8:13 of the opening period.

The Maple Leafs got on the board with 30 seconds to go before the first intermission, but Goc restored the three-goal lead when his shorthanded goal made it 4-1.