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Kessel Strikes Bolts In OT

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Matthew Iaboni

March 11, 2010
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON
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For the second straight game the Leafs needed some heroics in overtime. It was a thrilling extra period and if it wasn't for a big save by J.S. Giguere the Leafs wouldn't have gotten the win.

Giguere stopped Vincent Lecavalier on a breakaway and moments later the Leafs turned on the counter attack. Phil Kessel finished off the great passing play by Tyler Bozak

18 Straight games that Steven Stamkos has recorded at least one point.
7 Straight games that the Leafs have allowed the first goal.
59% The Leafs were much better on face-offs Thursday.
8 Shots for Dion Phaneuf which is a new season high.
4 Points in five games with the Maple Leafs for Luca Caputi.
1st Star
Viktor Stalberg
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2nd Star
Steve Stamkos
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3rd Star
Phil Kessel
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Viktor Stalberg has been playing inspired hockey lately and against Tampa Bay he had his very first multi-goal and point game in the NHL.
Stalberg, Luca Caputi and Mikhail Grabovski have had two solid games as a line and are sure to be together for longer.

Stalberg's two goals weren't highlight reel but if he continues to use his speed he will be an effective player. He finished the night with 18:17 of ice-time, six shots, two hits and blocked shots.

For all the talk of his struggles in the early part of this season, Luke Schenn has turned his season around. He picked up one assist but he was a plus three on the night making him plus one on the year.

Schenn had two huge hits on Alex Tanguay, one in the second period and in the third period. Schenn played a season-high of 22:37 and now has 15 points which is a new career high.

The Leafs' power play continues to be an issue of concern for head coach Ron Wilson. The Leafs have gone 0-for-the-last 30. They haven't scored a goal with the man advantage since February 8th vs. San Jose.

Wilson has tried different combinations but nothing has worked lately. Earlier in the season the Leafs had one of the better power plays and they will look to regain that form Saturday.

Ron Wilson on the enthusiasm of the young Leafs:

"The enthusisasm level is way up there.  We’re much younger and that shows and again people are auditioning for next year as much as anything. We’ve told them if they don’t have enthusiasm we basically told them we don’t want them here and they’re taking advantage of the opportunity and playing pretty well. "

Saturday March 13 vs. Edmonton
  7 PM ET (CBC, AM640)

Game Notes:
The Maple Leafs close out their three-game homestand against the struggling Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers have the worst road record in the NHL having only won eight games all season.

The Oilers defeated the Leafs 3-1 back in December so the Leafs will look for a different result this time.

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