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A Thrilling Victory

Saturday, 04.12.2010 / 11:27 PM / Features
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A Thrilling Victory
Matt Iaboni
December 4, 2010
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON
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Boxscore Recap Photos Videos
FINAL P1 P2 P3 OT SO T
1 0 1 0 0 2
1 0 1 0 1 3

The Leafs got a late third-period power play and they made the most of it. Kristopher Versteeg tied it when he scored with 42 seconds left in regulation to rock Air Canada Centre.

After overtime solved nothing, it was off to the shootout where the Leafs have struggled this season. With the shootout tied at 1-1, Phil Kessel scored to give the Leafs a 2-1 lead. J.S. Giguere held tough against Michael Ryder to seal the Leafs' first shootout win this season.

21:07 Ice-time for Keith Aulie which was a career high.
5 Power-play goals for Kristopher Versteeg to lead the team.
845 Career games as a Leaf for Tomas Kaberle eighth all-time.
12 Game deciding goals in the shootout for Phil Kessel.
4 Goals by Leafs' defencemen this season.
1st Star
Phil Kessel
G A P +/- Shots
0 0 0 E 6
2nd Star
Tim Thomas
SA SV GA TOI SV%
40 38 2 65:00 .950
3rd Star
Colby Armstrong
G A P +/- Shots
0 0 0 E 3
Caption This

Boston goalie Tim Thomas has played out of his mind on the road this season going a perfect 9-0 before Saturday's game against the Leafs. Thomas made breathtaking save after save including a great lunging stop on Francois Beauchemin in overtime.

It not for his heroics, the Leafs might've put up more than two goals. Thomas turned aside 38 shots including 14 in the second period. After a save on Kadri, Thomas was seen laughing at his good luck.

Having formed a new top line at practice on Friday, Ron Wilson went to it often in the Leafs' comeback win. While he didn't record a point, Colby Armstrong's presence was a great benefit against the Bruins.

Armstrong went to the net hard, he took the body every chance he could and he was the pest that he is known for. He enjoyed going against Zdeno Chara and getting him off his game. He played a season-high 23:09 and despite having missed the past 16 games, he didn't miss a beat.

Saturday was 65 minutes of rough and tough hockey that the Leafs played at the start of the season that helped them get four straight wins.

Despite going down 1-0, the Leafs didn't hang their heads, they kept at it and eventually they were rewarded when Carl Gunnarsson tied it. Getting more offence from the defence is what the Leafs practised on Friday and it paid off in the game. Although the Leafs find themselves at just 22 points, this is the kind of game that could turn a season around.

Ron Wilson on some key Leafs and on Tim Thomas:
 
"You could just see the difference with Colby Armstrong on the ice. He played a strong game. He brings experience and stiffness. I thought Phil (Kessel) for the most part had a very good game. He had a couple of giveaways but not for lack of effort or anything like that and he got the job done defensively. I mean, if not for Timmy Thomas there's certainly no way the game goes even to overtime or even to a shootout."



Monday, December 6 @ Washington 
7 PM ET (Sportsnet. AM640)

Game Notes:
The Maple Leafs make their second visit to Washington this season. Back on November 3rd, the Leafs dropped a 5-4 shootout decision to the Capitals.

Washington has lost their last two games and Alexander Ovechkin has scored just one goal in his last 10 games but he has picked up lots of assists (eight) in that span.



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