Wilson Pulls the Plug on Pogge, Leafs Lose 7-5 to Bruins

Dino MoriAnalyst IMarch 29, 2009

TORONTO - MARCH 28:  Justin Pogge #1 of the Toronto Maple Leafs turns aside a shot as Shawn Thornton #22 of the Boston Bruins looks on during their NHL game at the Air Canada Centre March 28, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario.(Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Coach Ron Wilson must be getting tired of playing musical chairs as far as his goaltending situation is concerned.

For the second straight game, Wilson was forced to substitute his ineffective starting netminder as the Maple Leafs dropped a 7-5 decision to the visiting Boston Bruins at the Air Canada Center on Saturday.

Wilson pulled the plug on starter Justin Pogge after the rookie netminder allowed six goals on just 20 shots.  Back-up Curtis Joesph was called upon after Pogge was beaten on a breakaway by Bruins forward David Krecji at 12:44 in the second period.

One night earlier, Pogge came in from an equally inept Joesph, who gave up four goals on only nine shots in a 5-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

It wasn't a walk in the park for back-up Bruins goalie Manny Fernandez as well. 

Fernandez, who was making his first start since March 8, was beaten four times before the seven minute mark of the second period.  He settled down after that allowing just one more goal by Niklas Hagman at 14:39 of the third period.

Hagman, who notched his 20th goal of the season, was making his first start since Feb. 26 due to a concussion.  He suffered the injury after taking an elbow to the head from New York Islander defenceman Brendan Witt.

Alexei Ponikarovsky with two, Nikolai Kulemin and John Mitchell had the other Maple Leaf goals.

Ponikarovsky has been terrific since the Maple Leafs traded his long-time line-mate Nik Antropov to the Rangers.  Pony has 19 points in 12 games since the NHL's trade deadline day back on Mar. 4.

He now has 23 goals and 58 points on the season, second only to Jason Blake (25-35-60), in both offensive categories.

Mark Recchi tallied twice for the Bruins, both on the powerplay.  Chuck Kobasew, Scott Thornton, David Krecji, Michael Ryder and Blake Wheeler also scored for Boston. 

Defencemen Dennis Wideman and Matt Hunwick each contributed three assists for the Bruins, who won for the fourth time in six games.

Toronto has now dropped two straight, after beating Washington in a shootout and Montreal on the road last Saturday. 

They'll next see action this Wednesday when they host the opener of a home-and-home series against the Philadelphia Flyers

Martin Gerber, suspended three games by the NHL for bumping referee Mike Leggo versus Washington, will be eligible to return next Friday when the Leafs head to the City of Brotherly Love for their return engagement with the Broad Street Bullies.