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Leafs Can't Contain Comeback

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Asif Hossain

January 30, 2010
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON
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3 0 0 3

The irrepressible Sedin-Sedin-Burrows line of the Canucks kept attacking at will in the final period, and the Leafs didn't seem to have any answers against arguably the best line in hockey.

The deepest cut came with 2:04 left in the game when Daniel Sedin redirected a pass from his brother Henrik, putting the Canucks ahead 4-3, which made the Leafs' 3-0 lead a distant memory. Another dagger for Leaf fans, Andrew Raycroft skated away as the winning goalie.

10 The Number of points for Alexei Ponikarovsky in his last seven games.
6-6 The Leafs were perfect on the penalty kill Saturday night.
3-8-1 Leafs' record in the second game of back-to-back nights (five straight losses).
0-5-0 Leafs' record against Western Canadian teams this season.
360 Approximate number of Troops present at the game as the Leafs honoured the Canadian Forces throughout the night.
1st Star
Daniel Sedin
G A P +/- Shots
2 1 3 3 8
2nd Star
Phil Kessel
G A P +/- Shots
2 0 2 -1 5
3rd Star
Alexandre Burrows
G A P +/- Shots
2 2 4 3 4
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Alex Burrows had a four point night (2G, 2A) and was inspirational for the Canucks in what once looked like an improbable comeback.

With the Leafs up 3-0 and having chased Roberto Luongo out of the Canucks' net, Burrows pulled his team back within two with an unassisted goal in the second period.  That set the stage for the visiting team's incredible final twenty minutes, as Burrows helped on the next two before potting an empty netter.

When it seemed as though the Leafs were about to romp, Phil Kessel looked certain to enjoy a massive game, after scoring two goals inside 3:49 of the opening period.

However, as the game wore on, Vesa Toskala began to impress while the Leafs skaters lost their edge. Toskala was instrumental in stopping 11 power play shots (31 overall), including three key stops on a 5-on-3 shorthanded situation in the first, then protecting a 2-0 lead.

The Maple Leafs were 13-0-2 when leading after two periods before disaster struck at ACC on Saturday night.  

In the final period, Leafs resembled the team that is 0-25-6 when trailing after two, given their inability to stop the Canucks. The Sedins scored twice within 5:32 of the third and although the teams exchanged chances for the next 12 minutes, the Canucks looked destined to end the Leafs' regulation time unbeaten streak when leading after forty.

Leafs defenceman Francois Beauchemin on the Sedins and their linemate Burrows:

"They (Sedins) are getting better every year, and Burrows is a big complement to their line. He's got some speed, a good shot and agitates a little bit.''

Tuesday February 2 vs. Devils
  7 PM ET (SNET-O, AM640)

Game Notes:
The Leafs may feel there is some unfinished business against the Devils, losing to them 5-4 in overtime on Friday, January 29 despite a third period comeback.

This is the second of four meetings between the two clubs this season. The third game will come as part of a home-and-home on Friday, February 5 in New Jersey.

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