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Slow Start, OT Haunt Leafs

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Matthew Iaboni

December 26, 2009
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON
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Andrei Kostitsyn's wrister from the top of the circle in overtime was the winner as the Leafs once again ran into a red-hot goaltender.

The Leafs deserved a better fate as Jaroslav Halak made numerous stops but he was also very fortunate. Niklas Hagman hit the post half-way through the third and Phil Kessel had a glorious opportunity to win it in the dying seconds but he whistled the one-timer past the net as Halak appeared to be at his mercy.

:54 Seconds apart the Canadiens scored in the first period.
7 Goals for Ian White this season. He had 10 all of 2008-09.
0 Times this season in six games that the Leafs have won when registering over 40 shots.
95 Leafs shots against the Canadiens in two games at the ACC this season.
19 Times this season that the Leafs have fallen behind 2-0.
1st Star
Jaroslav Halak
1 2 3 OT Total
0-16 1-17 1-16 0-0 2-49
2nd Star
Andrei Kostitsyn
G A P +/- Shots
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3rd Star
Mike Komisarek
G A P +/- Shots
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Jaroslav Halak was the best player on either team Saturday. For the sixth time this season the Maple Leafs had over 40 shots on net and they have yet to win!

Halak was tremendous as he kept the Canadiens in the game after the first period. Although the Leafs got two by him, both weren't pretty. Halak turned aside all the shots that he was able to see and some that he didn't.

After a poor outing against the Sabres, Ian White turned things around against the Canadiens. White once again saw lots of ice-time (26:12) which was third most on the team.He scored his seventh goal of the year to get the Leafs on the board in the second.

White's strong season sees him closing in on his career high of 10 goals which he accomplished last season when he saw time at forward.

After being a high-scoring team in 2008-09, the Maple Leafs have been snake bitten this season. Although the Leafs have scored 100 goals this season, it hasn't been easy.

The offence seemed to pick up in early December but goal scoring has dried up. In the last five games they have scored a combined nine goals. Over that period the team has won just once.  

Jason Blake on the Leafs overtime woes:

“It’s disappointing, we’re 1-9 … those are a lot of points. You’re not going to win them all but even if you take maybe half of them, you’re right there. But you can’t sit here and say, what if? You’ve just got to get the job done … we didn’t do that tonight.”

Sunday December 27 @ Penguins
7 PM ET (Leafs TV, AM640)

Game Notes:
The Leafs' busy month continues when they visit Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

This is the second of four meetings between the two teams. The Penguins won the first meeting this season 5-2 on October 10th at the ACC.

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