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Leafs Hit Iron, 'Canes Find Net

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Matthew Iaboni

January 12, 2010
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON
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1 1 2 4
1 1 0 2

The Maple Leafs haven't had much luck this season and that was definitely the case against the Hurricanes. The Leafs once again peppered the opposition netminder but continued to have trouble getting the puck across the goalline.

Late in the third, Niklas Hagman's shot rang off the post and the very same shift, the Hurricanes' Patrick Dwyer tipped in the game-winner off an innocent looking point shot from Joni Pitkanen. 

5 Shots for the Hurricanes in the first period.
2 Career NHL points for Tyler Bozak who has assists in his first two NHL games.
4 Number of road wins for the Hurricanes this season.
167 Shots for Phil Kessel since making his debut on Nov. 3, to lead the league since that time.
37 Times this season that the Leafs have had more then 30 shots on net.
1st Star
Joni Pitkanen
G A P +/- Shots
0 3 3 2 2
2nd Star
Lee Stempniak
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 -1 4
3rd Star
Cam Ward
40 38 2 60:00 0.950
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Although the Leafs registered 40 shots, Joni Pitkanen was the best player on the ice for both teams. The big Finnish blueliner logs lots of ice-time for Paul Maurice and against the Leafs he saw 30:29 of action. Surprisingly, he is the NHL leader in ice-time per game at 26:56.

His three assists and three points were also season highs for the Olympic-bound defenceman. His third point of the night was the biggest as his shot was tipped in for the game winner.

Lee Stempniak played a strong game for the Leafs. With the Leafs trailing in the first, Stempniak potted his 12th of the year and first since January 5th against Florida. His 21:27 of ice-time was tops amongst all forwards for the game.

Stempniak continues to see time on the point on the first power play unit with Tomas Kaberle as Ron Wilson tries to get the power play back on track after the struggles over the last few games.

While there wasn't lots of penalties on the night (five in total) it was still a big difference in the game.

The Leafs had three chances on the night and they were o-for with just two shots. In the third period the Leafs had a golden opportunity to tie it but they never threatened Cam Ward. Carolina was 1-for-2 on the PP with one shot and it counted as Eric Staal scored in the first.

Jonas Gustavsson on the Leafs' hard luck:

"I think we played a good game but once again we don't have those bounces with us. We had a post just a couple of seconds before they scored their (winning) goal. So that's the way it is now. We've just got work even harder the whole team and start winning."

Thursday January 14 vs. Flyers
  7 PM ET (TSN, AM640)

Game Notes:
The Flyers are at the ACC for the first time this season as the teams meet just eight days after their last meeting.

It will be an interesting game as the Leafs weren't happy with the actions of Flyers forward Dan Carcillo in the first meeting in Philadelphia.

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