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Keys to the Game: Maple Leafs vs. Flames

by David Alter / Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs are in Calgary as they take on the Flames tonight. Here are the three keys to a Leafs win.

Red Hot

The Flames have points in their last five games (4-0-1) and are looking to make it a season high six-game point streak. A good start is necessary. The Leafs have to be engaged and they just can’t resemble the team they were in the first 40 minutes of their shootout victory over the Sabres on Wednesday night. Weathering the storm early will be key while on the road.

Contain Johnny Hockey and Kris Russell

Both Johnny Gaudreau and defenceman Kris Russell have been on fire during the recent stretch. Gaudreau is riding a five-game point streak (three goals, three assists) while Russell has eight points (two goals, six assists) in the last four games. Both need to be contained and that will take a combined effort from the Leafs skaters.

Quality over quantity

It’s not how often you retain possession and fire shots toward Calgary’s net, but rather the quality of scoring chances the Leafs can get that will lead to success. The Flames have the third best record when being outshot in a game (.595) so their resiliency cannot be denied. The Leafs need to take control early and build up a cushion. Players need to stay motivated during this difficult time. Some are finding it easier to do that than others. David Booth has been an excellent example as someone motivated to play. He puts his season-high five-game point streak on the line, looking to extend it to six.

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