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Hot Leafs Sweep Florida

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Matthew Iaboni

November 27, 2009
Bank Atlantic Center
Sunrise, FL
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1 2 3 0 0 6
2 1 1 0 0 4

In a back-and-forth affair, it was Niklas Hagman's second goal of the game with just 7:25 to seal the win for the Leafs.

Christian Hanson did the dirty work along the boards and Hagman out-fought three Panthers defenders to slide the puck past Tomas Vokoun. Hagman scored four goals on the two-game road trip and he now has 13 for the year putting him on pace to easily surpass his total of 22 from 2008-09.

2:04 Time it took for the Panthers to take a 2-0 lead.
12 Times this season that the Leafs have trailed 2-0.
458 Career points for Tomas Kaberle tying Tim Horton for 2nd all-time among Leafs defencemen.
5 Straight games that the Leafs have recorded at least one point.
10 Goals in the last two games for the Maple Leafs.
1st Star
NIklas Hagman
G A P +/- Shots
2 0 2 1 2
2nd Star
Phil Kessel
G A P +/- Shots
2 0 2 2 5
3rd Star
Dmitry Kulikov
G A P +/- Shots
2 0 2 1 3
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Phil Kessel. With the Leafs down 2-0 early in the first, Kessel's great individual effort got the Leafs on the board. After the Panthers took a 4-3 lead, 13 seconds later Kessel's second of the game tied it up and the Leafs never looked back.

It just wasn't the offensive side of the game, Kessel made three great defensive plays in helping the Leafs sweep the state of Florida.

Alexei Ponikarovsky played his one of his best games of the season against the Panthers on Friday. The big forward used his size to park himself in front of the Panthers net on the first Leafs goal, he made a nice pass on the second goal and he tipped in his ninth of the year in the second.

Ponikarovsky had a season-high four points, was a plus three and played 20:!5 which led all Leafs forwards.

The Maple Leafs did something against the Panthers that they haven't done too often this season: Come back from a 2-0 deficit.

The Leafs improved their record to 4-11-5 after allowing the first goal of the game and it was also only their third win of the season when trailing after the first period. Although, the numbers aren't pretty the Leafs continue to battle and fight to the end.

Ron Wilson on the two-game winning streak:

"Maybe the worm is finally turning for us. We've been outshooting everybody and we've got a couple of really confident guys in (Kessel) and Hagman, who have just found a way to get in the net."

Monday November 30 vs. Sabres
7 PM ET (Sportsnet, AM640)

Game Notes:
The Maple Leafs return home to take on their QEW rivals for the second time this season.

The Sabres are coming off a 4-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday to snap their five-game losing streak.

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