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Slow Start Dooms Leafs

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Matt Iaboni

January 25, 2011
St. Pete Times Forum
St. Petersburg, FLA
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Playing their fifth game in seven nights and the second game of a back-to-back, the Leafs began the game lethargically and it cost them.

Tampa Bay got on the board just 5:11 in when Simon Gagne finished off the nice passing play. It was the 10th straight game that the Leafs have given up the opening goal. Just over seven minutes later, Teddy Purcell potted home the power-play goal for the 2-0 lead. It was all the scoring in the game sending the Leafs to their third straight loss.

10 Straight games that the Leafs have allowed the opening goal.
8 Times the Leafs have been shutout this season.
7 Games without a goal for Phil Kessel.
1-5-1 Leafs record in their past seven games.
20-5 Leafs have been outscored 20-5 in their past four road games.
1st Star
Dwayne Roloson
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2nd Star
Victor Hedman
G A P +/- Shots
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3rd Star
Teddy Purcell
G A P +/- Shots
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James Reimer's stellar play continued despite dropping his second consecutive start. Reimer was especially brilliant in the first period when he stopped 15 of 17 shots.

Reimer had Martin St. Louis' number as he stopped the speedy Lightning winger three times on breakaways. Reimer couldn't be faulted on either goal he allowed. He made numerous stops to give the Leafs a chance at a comeback. He finished the night with 29 saves

Colby Armstrong showed great heart and leadership in this game. The Leafs winger left the game in the second period with a finger injury and wasn't expected to return.

Armstrong did comeback in the third and he had a great chance but was stopped by Dwayne Roloson. Armstrong had a nice hit on St. Louis along the boards but despite having the injured finger, he dropped the gloves with Steve Downie.

Dion Phaneuf's ice-time continues to rise in the last few games. Tuesday he played a game-high and season-high 30:00. He has now played over 28 minutes in three of the last four games.

Just seconds into the game, he sent Dana Tyrell flying into the Leafs' bench. It was the second straight game that Phaneuf had a bone crunching hit. He did see his three-game point streak snapped but he was even on the night with three shots, four hits and one block.

Ron Wilson on the Leafs slow start to the game:
"They were all over us...we didn't have the answer except Reims (James Reimer) kept us in the game and he played a great first period. Our defence got caught up the ice a number of occasions and they had some out numbered attacks but like i said Reims kept us in there. The second and third period I thought we played well "

Tuesday, February 1 vs. Florida Panthers   7 PM ET (Sportsnet, AM640)

Game Notes:
After being off for six days due to the NHL All-Star break, the Leafs return home to take on the Florida Panthers.

The Panthers finish up their pre-All-Star break against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. Tuesday, the Panthers snapped their four game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers.

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