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Late Heroics For Leafs

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Matt Iaboni

September 29, 2010
Scotiabank Place
Ottawa, ON
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The Leafs allowed an early goal to the Senators in the third period and it appeared that the Senators would hang on but then Nazem Kadri struck.

Kadri scored on a great toe-drag to tie the game at 3-3 with just over six minutes left . Then with just over a minute to go he showed great patience and vision to feed Dion Phaneuf in the slot whose shot was tipped in by Phil Kessel for the game winner.

5 Preseason goals for Phil Kessel and Nikolai Kulemin.
13:31 Ice-time for Fredrik Sjostrom in his first preseason game.
19 Shots for the Leafs on the night, lowest so far in the preseason.
47 Hits combined in the Battle Of Ontario.
3 Power play goals for the Leafs.
1st Star
Nazem Kadri
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2nd Star
Chris Campoli
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3rd Star
Luca Caputi
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Without a doubt this was Nazem Kadri's best game of the preseason. As training camp winds down, Kadri knew that this was one of his last chances to make an impression on the coaches and he certainly did.

Not only did he record three points, playing the wing allowed him to play a simpler defensive game and he seemed to have more jump and more freedom with the puck. Playing on the top line gave him the opportunity to get lots of ice-time (16:36) and power play chances.

It wasn't so much a certain player but the Leafs' third line of Luca Caputi, Tim Brent and Colby Armstrong did great work throughout the game. While Fredrik Sjostrom returned to the lineup, by the end of the game Caputi was back with his usual linemates.

Brent and Armstrong were big keys to the Leafs killing off all five shorthanded chances and the trio found themselves on the ice at the end of the game to help protect the one goal lead.

Last season the Leafs' special teams were awful and for any chance at improvement this year the Leafs need to be better in those areas. Wednesday against Ottawa, the Leafs not only killed off the five shorthanded chances they also recorded three power play goals.

With different personnel the improvements have already taken place and with a week to go before the season starts there will be plenty of time to iron out who is on the power play and who will kill penalties.

Ron Wilson on Nazem Kadri's big game:

"Obviously he had a good game but you pick your team on a body of work. He made some nice moves, we will sit down and talk about what is best for him and for the team and go from there."

Friday October 1 @ Detroit 
7 PM ET (Leafs TV, AM640)

Game Notes:
The Leafs play the first of a home-and-home in the Motor City against the Red Wings. This will be their second last preseason game.

The roster for the last two games will in all likelihood be the Leafs' lineup for opening night on October 7th.

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