February 14, 2004
TORONTO (AP) -- Mika Noronen didn't even get a chance to hear his name called by the public address announcer after becoming the eighth NHL goalie to score a goal.
The Buffalo goalie was credited with a goal when Toronto's Robert Reichel accidentally put the puck into an empty net in the Sabres' 6-4 victory Saturday night.
With Toronto down 5-4, Reichel tried to pass the puck from behind Buffalo's net, but the puck went all the way down the ice and into the empty net. Noronen was the last Buffalo player to touch the puck.
Noronen initially thought he would get credit for it, but teammate Dmitri Kalinin was announced as the scorer. Noronen didn't find out until 10 minutes after the game.
``It's too bad. Maybe I'll get to hear my name next time,'' Noronen said.
Noronen is the first NHL goalie to score since San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov did it against Vancouver on March 10, 2002. New Jersey's Martin Brodeur and former Philadelphia goalie Ron Hextall have each scored twice, both once in the regular season and once in the playoffs.
``It's pretty funny,'' Noronen said. ``I guess I was the last guy to touch the puck. I don't know. It was fun.''
Noronen got the puck and said he might put it in his summer cabin.
``It's my first goal ever,'' he said. ``Hopefully, it's not the last one.''
Noronen replaced Martin Biron in goal in the second period after Biron allowed three goals on 18 shots.
Maxim Afinogenov, Ales Kotalik, Curtis Brown also scored third-period goals for the Sabres, who overcame a 3-0 deficit a night after rallying to beat Los Angeles.
Chris Drury and J.P Dumont added goals for the Sabres, who won for the seventh time in eight games and improved to 10-2-2 in their last 14 home games.
``It was a nice comeback,'' said Dumont, who had a four point game.
Afinogenov tied it at 13:45 of the third, and Kotalik put his own rebound past goalie Trevor Kidd for the lead at 10:09. Brown made it 5-3 just over two minutes later.
Reichel cut it to 5-4 at 17:41, but then scored on his own net with less than a minute left.
Toronto goalie Ed Belfour couldn't play for the fifth time in the last seven games because of a tight lower back. Backup Trevor Kidd allowed five goals on 32 shots.
``We were in complete control of the game until we got into penalty trouble,'' Kidd said.
Toronto's Matt Stajan opened the scoring at 4:23 of the second after Tie Domi stole the puck from Jochen Hecht and passed to Stajan, who put a one-timer past Biron.
Aki Berg's slap shot hit off a skate and in at 11:39, and Alexei Ponikarovsky gave Toronto a 3-0 lead just over a minute later.
After Toronto's Mikael Renberg received a four-minute penalty high-sticking, Drury scored on the power play at 17:42.
Dumont cut it to 3-2 at 18:54 of the second.
A Maple Leafs fan celebrating her 105th birthday received a jersey during a stoppage in play. Bessie has attended Leafs games on her birthday every year since she turned 100. ... Toronto's Gary Roberts bloodied Rory Fitzpatrick during a fight in the second period. Fitzpatrick went the dressing room and didn't return. ... The Maple Leafs recalled goalie Mikael Tellqvistfrom their AHL farm club in St. John's.
Updated on Saturday, Feb 14, 2004 11:30 pm EST
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