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Firing On All Cylinders

Saturday, 10.2.2010 / 9:43 PM ET / Features
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Firing On All Cylinders
Matt Iaboni
October 2, 2010
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON
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A night after struggling in Detroit, the Leafs bounced back with a much better effort. The Leafs' top line once again was excellent and in particular the Leafs' power play remained on fire.

Having already scored two power plays on the night, Tomas Kaberle's first goal of the preseason was the one that put the Leafs ahead for good. Phil Kessel made a great feed to Kaberle who wired it past Jimmy Howard.

10 Points for Phil Kessel in the preseason to lead the team.
6 Shots on net for Tomas Kaberle to lead all players in the game.
5 Wins in faceoffs with no losses for Mike Zigomanis.
19 Penalty minutes for Luke Schenn on the night.
12 Saves for Jussi Rynnas who came on in the third period.
1st Star
Phil Kessel
G A P +/- Shots
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2nd Star
Tomas Kaberle
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 E 6
3rd Star
Kris Versteeg
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 +1 4
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The Leafs' top trio has been spectacular throughout the preseason. Known more for his goal scoring, Phil Kessel played the role of distributor Saturday as he had three assists on the final three goals.

Kessel had numerous chances to pick up his seventh goal of the preseason. He and Tyler Bozak or Bert and Ernie as Mike Komisarek has named them are firing on all cylnders at the moment. The duo and Kris Versteeg will play key factors in how the Leafs end the season.

After a summer of trade speculation, Tomas Kaberle has had a strong preseason for the Maple Leafs. On Saturday he had his first goal while also adding an assist in the win.

Early last season the Leafs' power play was hot. Kaberle is a big part of that as he makes great passes to his teammates and against the Red Wings he was shooting the puck more than he normally does. For the Leafs to be successful, they will need that to continue. 

With the win over the Red Wings, the Leafs finished preseason play at 5-3-1. It was a grueling stretch for the Leafs as they played nine games in 12 nights which didn't leave much practice time.

After getting the roster down to the 23 players before Wednesday's 3 p.m. deadline, it will be a few days of practice. Last season the Leafs lost the season opener to Montreal in overtime. This year they will be looking for a different result against their long time rival.

Ron Wilson on if he can make a prediction on the Leafs:
"No. If you look back there's always surprise teams and we want to be one of those teams. But it's going to be up to us to be ready on Thursday and play it one game at a time. Predictions, I mean, it's just kind of a lot of guess work, who's going to be in the starting lineup. Injuries ... there's lot of things that happen. We have to perform on the ice, it's as simple as that."

Thursday October 7 vs. Montreal 
7 PM ET (CBC, AM640)

Game Notes:
The Maple Leafs play the first of eight matchups against the rival Montreal Canadiens in the season opener Thursday.

This is the second straight year that the teams will be meeting in the first game of year in Toronto. Last season, Montreal got a goal from Josh Gorges in OT for the win.

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