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Leafs Fall Short

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Matt Iaboni

December 28, 2010
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON
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3 0 1 0 0 4
2 1 0 0 0 3

The Maple Leafs had fought back all night against Carolina but they couldn't get the go-ahead goal and it cost them.

With just over five minutes to go in the third, the Hurricanes scored the winner when Patrick Dwyer tipped home the Tim Gleason point shot. The Leafs couldn't clear the puck and Dwyer cruised to the middle of the ice to just get his stick on the puck as it changed direction past Jonas Gustavsson.

23:09 Ice-time for Tyler Bozak to lead all forwards.
7 Shots for Phil Kessel to lead all players.
8 Goals in his last 10 games for Mikhail Grabovski
5 Points for Tomas Kaberle in his last three games.
8-0-1 Carolina's record when leading after the first period.
1st Star
Cam Ward
37 34 3 60:00 .918
2nd Star
Mikhail Grabovski
G A P +/- Shots
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3rd Star
Eric Staal
G A P +/- Shots
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It's not often that a goalie allows three goals and is the best player on the night. That was the case however as Cam Ward was spectacular making numerous big stops when the game was tied 3-3.

Ward was especially strong in the second period after the Leafs had evened it up. He made big stops on Phil Kessel and Mikhail Grabovski as Ward improved his career record to 8-6-1 against the Leafs. In all, he made 34 saves, many were game savers for Carolina.

With Tim Brent under the weather, Joey Crabb was recalled from the Marlies prior to Tuesday's game. The native of Alaska had a strong game against the Hurricanes.

He was effective along the boards, driving the net and he made a nice pass to Phil Kessel on his second goal. Crabb drew the praise of Ron Wilson for his hustle and bringing an element to the Kessel line that had been missing, someone willing to go to the dirty areas.

There is no doubt that the Carolina Hurricanes like playing at Air Canada Centre. With the win on Tuesday, they have now won five straight games in Toronto and four in a row in total over the Leafs.

The Hurricanes have won 10 of the last 13 games against the Blue and White. Carolina's success dates back to the 2002 playoffs when they defeated the Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference Final.

Ron Wilson assessing the Leafs' performance against the Hurricanes:

"I thought our effort was unbelievable tonight ... Lord knows we've had enough adversity in the last 40 hours or so but our team, I thought, played very well ... We had a great second period where we absolutely dominated; I think we outchanced them 13 to 1. We had some bumps in the road in the first period but we settled down and I thought we played an excellent game." 

Thursday, December 30 vs. Columbus 
  7 PM ET (Leafs TV, AM640)

Game Notes:
The Leafs play their final game of 2010 against Rick Nash and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

This will be the only meeting this season between the two teams. The Leafs have never lost in regulation to the Blue Jackets going 5-0-1-2. Last season, the Leafs defeated the Blue Jackets 6-3.

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