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Leafs Escape The Blues

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Matt Iaboni

January 6, 2011
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON
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1 3 1 0 1 6

The Leafs built a comfortable 5-2 lead when Phil Kessel scored his second of the game early in the third. But that wasn't the case.

St. Louis stormed back to tie it at 5-5 and it appeared like the Blues were going to win it. The Leafs were able to get the game to overtime. In the shootout, Kristopher Versteeg kept the Leafs alive and after Matt D'Agostini was stopped Tyler Bozak put the Leafs ahead. Patrik Berglund missed the net and the Leafs won.

3,000 Home games in Leafs history.
28:34 Ice-time for Francois Beauchemin to lead all players.
54 Hits for the Blues against the Leafs.
8 Shots for Mikhail Grabovski which is a new season high.
9 Hits for Luke Schenn most in the game and a season high.
1st Star
Tyler Bozak
G A P +/- Shots
0 0 0 -2 1
2nd Star
Phil Kessel
G A P +/- Shots
2 0 2 -1 7
3rd Star
Matt D'Agostini
G A P +/- Shots
1 1 2 +1 7
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With so many candidates for this category, we will go with Kristopher Versteeg. Not only did he help get the Leafs started 15 seconds into the game, he gave the Leafs the lead in the second. Most importantly, his goal in the shootout tied it giving the Leafs the chance to win the game.

Versteeg has been playing much better of late. With his two points Thursday, he now has seven in his last seven games. He is now tied for third on the team in scoring with 27 points.

Mikhail Grabovski's spectacular season continued against the Blues. Although he recorded his 15th goal of the season, it was his spin-o-rama flip shot in the shootout that had the ACC crowd buzzing.

Grabovski has improved a great deal on face offs as he won 68 per cent of his draws against St. Louis which was the highest for both teams. He finished the game even with 22:28 of ice-time which was highest amongst all forwards.

February 4, 1998. That was the last time the Leafs defeated the Blues in Toronto. That makes the Leafs' 6-5 win their first over St. Louis at Air Canada Centre. Coming into the game the Blues had won all six games at Air Canada Centre. It was their longest road winning streak against any NHL team for the Blues.

It just hasn't been in Toronto where the Blues have enjoued playing the Leafs. They were 8-1-2 against the Leafs dating back to 2000-01.

Ron Wilson on Mikhail Grabovski's stunning shootout goal:
"Well, when I saw him going that angle I thought he's doing his backhand spin that worked a little while ago. And I think the goalie even thought 'oh, there it is' and he was ready for it and Grabo added another little wrinkle to it. Yeah, it's hard for goalies. They watch all this stuff to maybe next time get a finger on what he's going to do. It was a great move."

Friday, January 7 @ Atlanta Thrashers 
  7:30 PM ET (Sportsnet, AM640)

Game Notes:
The Maple Leafs begin their four-game road trip against the Atlanta Thrashers as the teams meet for the second time this season.

The Thrashers have continued their winning ways as they have won two straight and sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, two points behind Washington.

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