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The Official Site of the Toronto Maple Leafs

"D" Struggles In Loss

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Matt Iaboni

December 30, 2010
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON
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The Leafs and Blue Jackets were tied after 40 minutes. The Leafs couldn't muster many shots and chances on Steve Mason and in the end that was the difference.

With Joey Crabb in the penalty box for a holding, the Blue Jackets took advantage. RJ Umberger deflected the Rick Nash shot past Jonas Gustavsson for the winning goal as the Leafs dropped their second consecutive game by one goal scored in the third period.

32 Hits for the Leafs against Columbus.
2-6-0 The Leafs' record on Thursdays this season.
1 Loss this season for the Leafs when leading after the first period.
25 Shots blocked by the Leafs.
23:31 Ice-time for Tomas Kaberle to lead all players.
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Kristian Huselius
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2nd Star
Rick Nash
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3rd Star
Nikolai Kuelmin
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Brampton native Rick Nash returned to Toronto and like many times in his career, he had an excellent game even though he was held scoreless for the eighth straight game.

Nash, Kristian Huselius and Antoine Vermette were dominant as they combined for six points. It appeared that Nash had scored the winner but it was later changed to Umberger. Nash finished the game with two assists, five shots and a plus two rating.

Darryl Boyce was called up on Thursday as Mikhail Grabovski was with his girlfriend for the birth of their first child (a girl).

Boyce was quite impressive. Not only did he earn his first NHL point (an assist), but he hustled, took the body, played well in his own zone and was effective playing with Nikolai Kulemin and Clarke MacArthur. This was the PEI native's second NHL game and he ended his night with 16:34 of ice-time, three hits and one shot block.

The success of most teams starts at home and the Leafs began the season well at Air Canada Centre but in the month of December, they finished with just two wins at home. Their overall home record for the season now stands at 8-9-3.

The Leafs play two home games next week but they then hit the road for most of January. They play just three home games after hosting St. Louis on January 6th.

Ron Wilson on the play of his defencemen against the Blue Jackets:

"Tonight our D had a tough night ... handling pucks, mis-reading rushes and some pretty bad giveaways. We weren't moving the puck quickly and it slowed our offence down. As the game went on it kept getting harder and harder because we weren't moving pucks or getting back quickly enough and partners not supporting one another."

Saturday, January 1 @ Ottawa 
  7 PM ET (CBC, AM640)

Game Notes:
The Maple Leafs begin 2011 against one of their biggest rivals - Ottawa in the Nation's Capital. This will be the fourth meeting this season between the two teams.

The Senators will be playing Columbus Friday. They are without centre Jason Spezza for an extended period of time due to a shoulder injury.

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