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52 Seconds Of Madness

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Asif Hossain

January 02, 2010
Pengrowth Saddledome
Calgary, AB
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52 seconds of madness. Maple Leafs' hot start and excellent early work came undone within a 52 seconds span in the second period. 

Jarome Iginla tied the game up at 10:35 of the second by batting the puck into the net following a Mike Komisarek giveaway, which came as a result of Viktor Stalberg making an errant pass to the defenceman. Alexei Ponikarovsky took an interference penalty 35 seconds later. It took Curtis Glencross another 17 seconds to score the game winner.

18-7 Leafs outshot by Flames in the second period when it all came undone.
3 Goals Jason Blake has scored in the last four games, including the Leafs' single.
-2 Phil Kessel had the game worst +/- on the night. His last positive rating came on December 14 vs. Ottawa.
8-3 Leafs outscored in the two losses to Flames this season.
5 Consecutive games lost by Leafs in Calgary.
1st Star
Jarome Iginla
G A P +/- Shots
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2nd Star
Curtis Glencross
G A P +/- Shots
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3rd Star
Jonas Gustavsson
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Even though Glencross scored two goals, the player of the game honours must go to Flames captain Jarome Iginla.

Recently selected to Team Canada for his third Winter Olympics, Iginla led by example with the kind of talent, grit and winning mentality that makes him a fan favourite in arenas across the league. He poached the first goal to get his team on the scoreboard, and assisted on the two Glencross scores by beating opponents to the puck each time.  

Jonas Gustavsson was recognized in the game by earning the third star but Matt Stajan's solid work at the faceoff circle went unnoticed as the Leafs were unable to ply consistent pressure on the Flames.

The Mississauga centreman was just 50% on faceoffs (14-28) overall, but in the offensive and defensive zones he was 75% (6-8 in each zone) giving the Leafs a chance to retain puck possession in key situations.  Gustavsson was the brightest Leaf on the ice but Stajan held his own.

In low scoring affairs special teams often make the difference and Calgary's 84.1% (8th in NHL) penalty killing unit delivered.

The Leafs went 0-4 with the man advantage, including being unable to muster more than a single shot on goal during an all-important power play with eight minutes to go, despite Calgary's top blue-liner Dion Phaneuf leaving the game with an injury.  Leafs had NHL's 14th best power play at 19% coming into the game.

Ron Wilson observed what differentiated the two teams on the night:

"We didn't win any battles for loose pucks. The other team is working hard, and desperate, and when you're not as desperate as they are on the power play, you're not going to be very effective."

Tuesday January 5 vs. Panthers
  9:30 PM ET (Sportsnet, AM640)

Game Notes:
Maple Leafs return home after a three game road trip for the first hockey tilt at Air Canada Centre in 2010.

This will be the second of four meetings between Leafs and Panthers. In the first game, Kessel and Hagman each scored a pair, while Ponikarovsky had a four point night in a 6-4 win for the Leafs.

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