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Blake Buries The Winner

Wednesday, 09.12.2009 / 10:07 PM / Features
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Blake Buries The Winner
Asif Hossain
December 9, 2009
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON
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FINAL P1 P2 P3 T
0 0 2 2
2 0 1 3

The Leafs took a 2-0 lead into the third period, only to see Islanders rookie John Tavares erase that advantage with a pair of power play goals.

When the momentum looked to be with the visitors, Leafs forward Jason Blake popped up at 15:55 of the third period to knock home the go-ahead-goal that ultimately proved to be the winner.

27:05 Beauchemin's ice time on the night to lead the Leafs.
68% Stajan won a game high 13 of his 19 faceoffs.
0-23 The Islanders couldn't generate a single goal from 23 even strength shots.
+ 11 White's +2 performance on the night extends his team high in the +/- column.
19 Blake's shots on goal in the last four games, compared to 18 in his previous eight.
1st Star
Jason Blake
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 1 6
2nd Star
John Tavares
G A P +/- Shots
2 0 2 0 3
3rd Star
Vesa Toskala
SA SV GA TOI SV %
32 30 2 59:42 .937
Caption This

Blake nothced the winning goal and received the game's first star, but Vesa Toskala was a standout in net for his second consecutive outing.

Up against Dwayne Roloson, who was incredible last time the two teams met, Toskala was up to the task. He stopped 30 shots, including a highlight reel save in the 2nd period, and kept Toronto from falling behind in the third period when the Isles stepped up their attack.

Luke Schenn was a steady presence on defence for the Leafs throughout the night. 

The sophomore blue liner enjoyed a +2 rating on the night, didn't take any penalties and laid out Isles winger Jon Sim with a hard hit in the second period to cement his influence on the game.

Following that remarkable 58-save performance from Roloson in a 4-3 loss to the Islanders on November 23rd, Leafs have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL.

Leafs have six wins and two losses since that meeting. Despite one of those defeats being a home ice shutout to Buffalo, they have scored an average of 3.6 goals per game in that stretch. They'll have a chance to avenge the other loss, a 7-2 battering in Boston, on Thursday.

Ron Wilson on the growing role of Lee Stempniak and the potential production from the new checking line with Wayne Primeau and Nikolai Kulemin:

"I don't think he's ever thought of himself as a checker. But if we can find a niche for him and he does what he is doing, good for him. And I think the line can score."



Thursday December 10 vs. Boston Bruins
7 PM ET (LEAFS TV, AM640)

Game Notes:
The second game on back-to-back nights for the Leafs. It's one that had Ron Wilson saying "I'm glad we're playing the Bruins again. We can't play any worse than we did the last time," in referece to the 7-2 loss last Saturday. 

Bruins haven't played since that night.



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