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Leafs have won 10 of last 11

12/13/2003

TORONTO (AP) -- Eric Lindros has returned to coach Glen Sather's
doghouse.

Mikael Renberg scored twice and had an assist to lead the
Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers on
Saturday night.

Lindros, in his second game on a top line following a stint on
the fourth line, scored in the first period for New York.

But Sather wasn't happy.

"He's got a problem with the coach," Sather said. "I didn't
think he was playing very well. A lot of players have that problem.
You play hard, you get ice time."

Lindros took a hooking penalty in the second period, leading to
Gary Roberts' go-ahead goal. Sather removed Lindros from the top
line late in the third -- a line he was just promoted to on Friday.

When told of Sather's comments, Lindros said he didn't know what
Sather was referring to.

"Over the course of the last couple of months, I've been
filling in when people have been injured whether it's the first or
fourth line, and I haven't complained once about the situation,"
Lindros said. "I haven't come out and made comments about it."

Sather has also publicly criticized other players this season,
including forwards Anson Carter and Petr Nedved.

Roberts added a goal and two assists for the Maple Leafs, who
have won 10 of 11. Toronto moved within a point of Philadelphia for
first place overall in the NHL.

"That's great. We feel good about that," Renberg said. "With
the group of guys that we have in this locker room, I don't think
anybody is going to be satisfied with where we are now. We just
have to keep going."

The Rangers also lost to Toronto on Nov. 30 and Dec. 2.

Both teams expressed anger at each other, and the game featured
20 penalties -- including two fights. Toronto's Nathon Perrott
lifted Jason MacDonald's sweater in the second period, and
Toronto's Wade Belak repeatedly punched defenseman Dale Purinton in
the face in the third.

New York's Darius Kasparaitis sent Alexei Ponikarovsky to the
ice with a vicious check in the second.

Ed Belfour made 28 saves for the Maple Leafs, who have gained a
point in 11 straight games (10-0-0-1), equaling the club record set
in 1950-51 and matched in the 1993-94 season. Toronto will look to
set the mark Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Rangers went 0-for-6 on the power-play, and the Maple Leafs
went 2-for-7.

"We seem to find ways to win every night," Renberg said.

Lindros' shot deflected off the skate of Mats Sundin and in at
4:05 of the first.

Renberg scored from behind New York's net by putting a shot off
the pads of goalie Mike Dunham at 10:10 of the first.

"It was a very, very lucky goal," Renberg said.

Roberts gave Toronto a 2-1 lead on the power play by putting a
rebound past Dunham, and Renberg made it a 3-2 with the man
advantage by putting in a rebound at 4:17 of the third. Roberts and
Sundin assisted.

Game notes
New York D Tom Poti missed the game because of back spasms.
... Toronto forward Joe Nieuwendyk didn't return after taking a
puck off his right ankle in the second period. Toronto coach Pat
Quinn said there was no fracture. ... Belfour, 38, has started the
past six games and 12 of 13 for Toronto despite being the second
oldest No. 1 goalie in the NHL. ... Sundin has 400 assists with the
Maple Leafs. ... The teams play again on Dec. 26 in New York.