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Bah, Humbug! For Leafs

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Matt Iaboni

December 20, 2010
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON
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2 1 3 0 0 6
0 1 2 0 0 3

The Leafs headed to the second intermission trailing 3-1 and any hope of a comeback was dashed just 3:04 into the third.

Nikolai Kulemin turned the puck over, Bryan Little made a neat little drop pass to Anthony Stewart who whistled home the game-winning goal. The Thrashers would add to the lead 1:15 later as Tobias Enstrom's point shot bounced in off a Leaf and into the net. Despite two late goals, the Leafs couldn't get any closer.

501 Career points for Tomas Kaberle.
2:52 Time it took the Thrashers to jump out to a 2-0 lead in the first.
28 Seconds between goals for Atlanta in the first period.
4 Saves for James Reimer in his first NHL action.
18 Shots for the Thrashers to score five goals.
1st Star
Tobias Enstrom
G A P +/- Shots
2 2 4 +3 2
2nd Star
Freddy Modin
G A P +/- Shots
2 0 2 +2 2
3rd Star
Mikhail Grabovski
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 -1 7
Caption This

While his defence partner Dustin Byfuglien gets plenty of accolades, Tobias Enstrom is putting together another stellar season.

He led the Thrashers' attack by picking up four points (two goals, two assists) while also being a plus three (all season highs). Enstrom has yet to miss a game in his four-year NHL career playing 280 consecutive games. He and Byfuglien currently sit in the top five in scoring for defencemen. Enstrom also led the team with six blocked shots.

Playing in his third season with the Leafs, John Mitchell has struggled to get in the lineup but he has played in six straight games.

He started the game on the fourth line but late in the second he was given some power-play time. It resulted in him scoring his first goal of the season. Prior to his goal on Monday he had gone scoreless in 26 games. He finished the night with one goal in 11:45 of ice-time while also winning 80 per cent of his face offs.

91. The number of shots the Leafs directed towards the Thrashers' net. They had 40 shots on goal, 33 blocked and 18 missed the net.

It was remarkable how many shots the Thrashers blocked. Coming into the game they were third in the NHL but thanks to their performance against the Leafs they are now tied for first with 584.  Enstrom and Johnny Oduya led the way as they clogged up the shooting lanes making it tough for the Leafs to get any rebounds or ugly goals.

Ron Wilson on being ready from the outset of the game:
"You know everybody's got to think all day I'm going to have a first shift and I have to be ready for it. I'd be wrong to lump everybody that they're not ready but five or six guys weren't very sharp on their first shift, turned it over, lost a battle, got beat to a loose puck and it ended up in our net. I mean, you have all day from the morning skate 'til the puck drops to prepare yourself to be ready for the first shift and we weren't."

Sunday, December 26 @ New Jersey 
  7 PM ET (Leafs TV, AM640)

Game Notes:
After a five-day layoff, the Leafs are on the road in New Jersey to face the slumping Devils.

This is the second meeting of the season between the two teams. The Leafs defeated the Devils 3-1 back on November 18. Ilya Kovalchuk's struggles this season have continued as he has just eight goals in 31 games.

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