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Leafs Refuse To Quit

Wednesday, 03.2.2011 / 10:59 PM ET / Features
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Leafs Refuse To Quit
Matt Iaboni
March 2, 2011
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON
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Early in overtime, Dion Phaneuf went on the solo rush into the Penguins' zone. With the rest of his teammates changing he held the puck waiting for reinforcements.

Phaneuf found Carl Gunnarsson who fed Phil Kessel who one touched the puck to a wide open Mikhail Grabovski for the tap in and the Leafs' big 3-2 overtime win. It put the Leafs just four points behind Carolina for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

67 Combined goals for Kulemin, Grabovksi and MacArthur this season.
11 Wins on the season for James Reimer ties J.S. Giguere for team lead.
26 Blocked shots for the Leafs.
56 Per cent on faceoffs for the Leafs.
6-1-4 Leafs' record in their last 11 games.
1st Star
Mikhail Grabovski
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2nd Star
Matt Niskanen
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3rd Star
Phil Kessel
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Phil Kessel's hot streak continued against the Penguins Wednesday. He had another two-point game, his third in four games and he now has a five-game point-scoring streak with 10 points in that span.

Kessel was quiet most of the night but his 27th goal in the third period tied the game and in overtime he made a nice touch pass to Grabovski. He now has eight goals in his last eight games and with the two points, he now ties Clarke MacArthur for the team lead with 49.

There were two Maple Leafs who had strong games on the blueline. Saskatchewan natives Luke Schenn and Keith Aulie were beasts against the Penguins on Wednesday.

Although they aren't usually paired together, they were both towers of strength. Schenn played 21:50 with five hits and five blocked shots. Aulie played 22:02 with four hits and six blocked shots. They were key members of the Leafs penalty killing unit that held the Pens scoreless.

Three. The number of times this season that the Leafs have come back to win a game when trailing after two periods. They trailed against Pittsburgh and they found a way to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Leafs' record is now 3-24-3 when trailing after two periods. They showed lots of character just three nights after blowing back-to-back third period leads in games. Although they remain on the outside looking in for the playoffs, the two points were much needed.

Ron Wilson on the win mean and Phil Kessel since the All-Star break:

"It's more a confidence builder. It's good for our confidence as we were a little tight tonight but we found a way to hang in there and get the job done...He drives that new car around town & feels really good about it."

Thursday, March 3 @ Philadelphia Flyers
7 PM ET (Sportsnet, AM640)

Game Notes:
The Leafs close out the back-to-back in Philly against the Flyers in the third meeting this season. Philadelphia has won the first two games outscoring the Leafs 9-3.

The Flyers lead the Eastern Conference with 86 points. Kris Versteeg has two points in seven games with the Flyers since being acquired from the Maple Leafs.

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