Coming off two huge wins, the crowd at the ACC was pumped for the game but the wind was taken out of Toronto's sails early on.
Carl Gunnarsson made a bad pass up the middle that resulted in Marian Hossa beating James Reimer five-hole just 1:10 in. Just 3:03 later, Troy Brouwer fed Michael Frolik on the 2-on-1 and it was 2-0. Jonathan Toews finished off the nice feed from Patrick Kane later in the first period to make it 3-0 and it was all she wrote for the Leafs.
Rookie Corey Crawford continues to be impressive as the Montreal native has now won eight straight games. He made 30 saves on the night and was especially good in the final period.
After Mikhail Grabovski was awarded a penalty shot, Crawford came up huge as he was just able to get a toe on the puck. A few moments later, Mike Brown was in on the partial breakaway but Crawford turned him aside. Crawford's excellent season is definitely Calder worthy.
It was a tough opening 20 minutes for Luke Schenn as the Leafs blueliner was a minus two but he was able to turn his game around.
Schenn was one of the few defencemen to get his shots on net. In the third his shot was tipped by Joey Crabb and late in the game Schenn's point shot got past Crawford. Schenn finished the night a plus one with one hit in just over 20 minutes of action. He now has 16 points on the season which is one off his career high he set last season.
What is it with the Leafs and Saturdays? With the loss to the Blackhawks, the Leafs' record now falls to 4-10-4 on Saturdays. It is by far their worst record for any day of the week.
Over their past eight Saturdays the Leafs have gone 0-5-3. Their last win on a Saturday was January 1st when they defeated Ottawa. The last win at home on Saturday was December 11th against Montreal. There are five Saturdays left in the 2010-11 season to turn it around.
Ron Wilson on valuable lessons gained by the Leafs against the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks:
"It's a good experience for our team to play one of the better teams in the league right now and see what we have to do to get better. It would be awful idiotic to say that we were going to win every game the rest of the way. So I have no problem with the game tonight. We'll move on to the next one, learn our lessons and get better."
Tuesday, March 8 @ New York Islanders 7 PM ET (Sportsnet, AM640)
Game Notes: The Maple Leafs are back in action when they close out the season series against the New York Islanders. So far this season the Leafs are 2-0-1 winning the last two meetings.
The Islanders have been playing much better of late winning two straight before hosting New Jersey Sunday.