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Fabulous Start For New Leafs

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Matthew Iaboni

February 2, 2010
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON
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After building a 1-0 lead after the first period, the Leafs put the game away with a strong second period.

The Leafs' top line of Tyler Bozak, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Phil Kessel made it 2-0 when Ponikarovsky's shot was stopped but Kessel banged in his 18th of the year early in the frame. Francois Beauchemin's fifth of the season on the power play capped off the scoring.

4 Game point streak for Alexei Ponikarovsky.
2 Goalies to a record a shutout in their Leafs debuts (Ed Belfour, J.S. Giguere).
24:21 Ice-time for Dion Phaneuf in his Maple Leafs debut.
9 Leafs to record a point in the win over New Jersey.
44 Hits for the Leafs.
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J.S. Giguere
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2nd Star
Dion Phaneuf
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3rd Star
Fredrik Sjostrom
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J.S. Giguere was brilliant between the pipes in his Maple Leafs debut as he turned away all 30 shots.

Giguere was there all night as he made several big stops and when the Leafs did make a mistake, he was there to bail out his teammates. He was busiest in the third period when stopped 12 Devils shots to record his second shutout of the season.

Fredrik Sjostrom made quite an impact in his first game with the Blue and White. Not only did he help set up the first Leafs' goal, he was a big part of the penalty kill that killed off two power plays.

Sjostrom has great speed and he was in hard on the forecheck all night, as he had four hits, blocked a couple of shots in 16:56 of ice-time on a line with Rickard Wallin and Nikolai Kulemin.

Giguere did something that has only happened one other time in Leafs history. Getting a shutout in his debut as a Maple Leaf.

The only other goalie to do so was Ed Belfour who recorded a shutout on October 10, 2002 against the Penguins. It was Giguere's 33rd career shutout and his first since November 27, 2009 versus Chicago.

Ron Wilson on Dion Phaneuf and his incredible spirit:

"He's gung-ho, seems to love hockey. Has passion for it and it rubs off on everybody. We could hear him talking in-between periods in our coaches' office which is almost like two rooms away and three doorways and you could hear him the whole time between periods which I don't think anybody in the Leaf room especially our young guys have experienced .... a player who actually talks."

Friday February 5 @ Devils
  7 PM ET (Sportsnet, AM640)

Game Notes:
The Leafs finish off the home-and-home with the Devils on Friday in New Jersey.

This will be the third meeting in the last eight days with the home team winning both games. The Leafs return home to face the Senators on Saturday.

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