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After sitting out seven games, Corson gets a goal, assist

3/2/2003

TORONTO (AP) -- Shayne Corson wanted to make sure his return to
the Toronto lineup wasn't short-lived.

He went a long way toward doing that with a goal and an assist
Saturday night in the Maple Leafs' 4-1 victory over Carolina.

''It sure was nice to score,'' said Corson, a healthy scratch
for seven consecutive games. ''I wanted to come back and have a good
game. But the most satisfying thing for me was that I came back and
we won the game with me in the lineup.''

As it turns out, Corson doesn't need to worry about playing
Monday night against Florida because winger Tom Fitzgerald left
the game Saturday with a knee injury. He's out seven to 10 days.

''Things went pretty good tonight,'' Corson said. ''I know what
I can do. I've played in All-Star games and the 1991 Canada Cup.
And I've never felt better physically.''

Leafs coach Pat Quinn said he didn't decide until game time to
insert Corson and sit out Jonas Hoglund.

''It was time for Shayne to come back in,'' Quinn said. ''He can
help us. I'm glad for him tonight. But it's never an easy choice.''

No offense to Corson, whose goal was a one-timer with the goalie
out of position, but Alex Mogilny's highlight-reel goal in the
second period was the one to remember on this night.

Mogilny gave Toronto a 2-1 lead with a beauty at 10:08 of the
second, bursting into the zone and deking out forward Ryan Bayda,
who was the last man back, before slipping a backhander between
Arturs Irbe's legs. It was the lone moment of brilliance in a game
that provided very little entertainment for the 19,362 in the Air
Canada Centre.

The fact that Bayda as a forward was an easier target to try out
his fancy deke never crossed Mogilny's mind.

''I didn't know who it was. I didn't look at his face,'' Mogilny
said. ''Just one more guy to get around.''

Darcy Tucker and Bryan McCabe also scored for the Leafs
(37-23-4-1), who didn't need anything close to their 'A' game to
beat the disinterested Hurricanes.

Josef Vasicek replied for last-place Carolina, which has won
only three of its past 30 games (3-19-4-3).

The injury-riddled Hurricanes, missing six regulars, barely
threatened throughout the game, content to dump the puck in on most
rushes and hope for a Toronto mistake -- of which there were very
few.

''We had a couple of young guys who got burned for goals
tonight,'' said Carolina coach Paul Maurice, no doubt referring to
Bayda. ''Hopefully they'll learn from that.''

It was a battle of the backups -- Irbe, recently recalled from
Lowell of the AHL as he waits to be traded, started in place of
Kevin Weekes (sore blocker hand) while Trevor Kidd gave No. 1 man
Ed Belfour a break in Toronto's net and picked up his sixth victory of
the season.

''Ed needs a rest going down the stretch and it's my job to go
in there and make sure we don't take a step backward,'' said Kidd,
who also won last Saturday at Montreal.

In the aftermath of Toronto's 7-2 defeat in Detroit on Thursday,
Quinn shuffled his top two lines, putting Mats Sundin and Gary
Roberts with Mikael Renberg on the No. 1 unit, followed by Nikolai
Antropov with Mogilny and Corson.

Corson re-directed a Tie Domi pass into an empty net with Irbe
overplaying Domi on a two-on-one break and the relief could be read in
Corson's face. The goal at 11:44 of the third period was his fifth
goal of the season.

Tucker gave Toronto insurance 3:53 in the third period, picking
up a loose puck off the boards behind the net and flipping a shot
over a diving Irbe.

McCabe scored only his third goal of the season to tie it 1-1
just more than a minute into the second period, his slap shot beating
Irbe top corner during a power play. McCabe, who was horrible in
the defeat at Detroit, had a strong game Saturday and hit every red
jersey in sight. He was named the game's first star.

Vasicek opened the scoring during a five-on-three power play midway
through the first period, his shot from the side of the net
bouncing off Toronto's Jyrki Lumme and past Kidd.

Game notes
Joining Hoglund as healthy scratches were fellow forward
Paul Healey and defenseman Ric Jackman ... Hurricanes captain Ron
Francis turned 40 Saturday. He's among the five NHLers 40 or older
along with Mark Messier (42), Igor Larionov (42), Chris Chelios
(40) and Adam Oates (40) ... The Hurricanes were missing forwards
Rod Brind'Amour (broken wrist), Erik Cole (broken leg) Jaroslav
Svoboda (back), Pavel Brendl (knee surgery), Jesse Boulerice
(concussion) and Jeff Heerema (broken wrist).