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Losing Streak Hits Eight Games

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
 
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TORONTO - The Vancouver Canucks continue to feast on the Eastern Conference.

Mason Raymond scored at 13:36 of the third period Saturday as the Canucks edged the desperate Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3.

The winning goal came on a shot Maple Leafs goaltender J.S. Giguere would like to have back. Raymond beat him through the legs from the top of the circle, stretching Toronto's losing slide to eight games. They are 0-6-2 over that stretch.

Vancouver, meanwhile, improved to 5-0-1 against Eastern opponents with its second straight win. They were 13-5-0 while playing out of conference games a year ago.

Ryan Kesler, with two, Daniel Sedin and Dan Hamhuis also scored for Vancouver (10-4-2).

Fredrik Sjostrom, Phil Kessel and Mikhail Grabovski replied for the Maple Leafs (5-8-3), who have just one win in their last 12 games.

It was the most entertaining game of the season at Air Canada Centre. The teams both played with some edge and took turns trading chances off the rush.

Sjostrom and Kessel put the Maple Leafs ahead 2-0 with goals just over three minutes apart. Sjostrom tipped a shot between Roberto Luongo's legs at 4:12 of the first period before Kessel scored his eighth of the season with a high wrist shot at 7:39.

Daniel Sedin got his team on the board shortly after, sliding a puck past J.S. Giguere while on a power play.

A pair of goals from Kesler made it 3-2 for Vancouver. He beat Giguere high at 17:01 before tipping a Christian Ehrhoff point shot on a power play 56 seconds into the second period.

Grabovski's third goal of the season tied it back up. He cruised into the Canucks zone and beat Luongo high _ giving the offensively challenged Leafs three goals in a game for just the seventh time this season.

Nazem Kadri didn't look out of place in his second career NHL game. GM Brian Burke called him up from the American Hockey League on Friday - admitting he would have waited if the team was playing better - and coach Ron Wilson put him on a scoring unit with Nikolai Kulemin and Tyler Bozak.

Frustration is starting to set in for the Maple Leafs. After Hamhuis scored into an empty net, forward Kris Versteeg smashed his stick against the boards.

Notes: The Canucks scratched Keith Ballard, Peter Schaefer and Ryan Parent ... Carl Gunnarsson and Luca Caputi were taken out of Toronto's lineup to make room for Kadri and defenceman Keith Aulie ... Kadri played his seventh game in 11 days - each in a different city ... Vancouver's Henrik Sedin played his 433rd consecutive game ... The Canucks visit Buffalo on Monday and Pittsburgh on Wednesday before returning home ... Announced attendance was 19,534.

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