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Too Much Crosby For Leafs

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Matt Iaboni

December 8, 2010
CONSOL Energy Center
Pittsburgh, PA
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1 3 1 0 0 5

After a first period that saw the Leafs pick up four shots but trail just 1-0, they couldn't take advantage in the second.

The Penguins put the game away with three goals in a span of 3:08 late in the second period. It started off with a 2-on-0 shorthanded goal by Pascal Dupuis. Mark Letestu outfought Francois Beauchemin in front of the net to make it 3-0. Sidney Crosby's second of the game on a 2-on-1 made it 4-0 as the Penguins were on their way to their 11th straight win.

35 Points for Sidney Crosby during his 17-game point streak.
31 Per cent on faceoffs for the Leafs on Wednesday.
12-0-1 Marc-Andre Fleury's record in the past 13 games.
24-10 Shots in favour of the Penguins after two periods.
24:19 Ice-time for Luke Schenn to lead all players.
1st Star
Chris Kunitz
G A P +/- Shots
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2nd Star
Sidney Crosby
G A P +/- Shots
2 0 2 +2 2
3rd Star
Mark Letestu
G A P +/- Shots
2 0 2 +2 5
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Crosby had a 16-game point streak coming into the game and his two goals extended the streak. He has now scored 26 goals on the season, 11 in the past six games giving him 50 points in just 30 games.

He was doing it all against the Leafs. He was physical, blocked shots and he was unstoppable on the draws winning 19 of 26. Not having Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal puts more pressure on Crosby but nothing seems to faze the 23-year-old.

For the second game in a row, Mikhail Grabovski showed fight and determination when many of teammates didn't. Although he was a minus two on the night, Grabovski scored his seventh goal of the season giving the Leafs a chance in the third period.

Grabovski was the second best Leaf on the draws. In the second period, Grabovksi and Crosby exchanged shoves and slashes. The Leafs centre showed he won't back down from anyone.

Too many times this season the Leafs haven't played a full 60 minutes. It is evident when looking at how many goals the opposition has scored in the first 40 minutes.

After allowing one goal in the first, the Leafs have surrendered 28 goals in the opening 20 minutes. WIth the three Penguins goals, opponents have also scored 28 in the second. The only period where the Leafs have scored more goals is the third (22-21).

Ron Wilson on the effort Wednesday:

"We didn't play. We didn't comepete for 40 minutes. The hole could've been deeper. We started just like we did in Washington, tentative, afraid to dip our toes in the pool and we played back on our heels for the first 40 minutes. If you're not skating hard and tentative going to pucks first, tentative to cover your man, it's going to show in all other areas of your game."

Thursday, December 9 vs. Philadelphia 
7 PM ET (TSN, AM640)

Game Notes:
The Leafs return home to close out the back-to-back against the Flyers who also are playing two nights in a row. Philadelphia is coming off a 5-4 shootout loss to San Jose.

The Flyers are one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference as they look to get back to the Finals.

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