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Too Much Kovalchuk

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Matthew Iaboni

January 19, 2010
Philips Arena
Atlanta, GA
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2 0 1 3
0 2 2 4

After surrendering a 2-0 lead, the Leafs seemed to run out of gas. The Leafs coughed the puck up numerous times and the Thrashers took advantage.

With the Thrashers leading 3-2, Ian White turned the puck over at the red line and Ilya Kovalchuk roared in and wired the puck through Vesa Toskala's pads for the game winner.

122 Consecutive games played for Ian White.
:32 Seconds between first period goals for Alexei Ponikarovsky.
5-0 The Leafs have outscored their opponents in the last two first periods.
7 Consecutive seasons of 30 or more goals for Ilya Kovalchuk.
15 Career goals for Alexei Ponikarovsky in 21 games against Atlanta.
1st Star
Ilya Kovalchuk
G A P +/- Shots
2 1 3 +2 8
2nd Star
Alexei Ponikarovsky
G A P +/- Shots
2 0 2 E 2
3rd Star
Ondrej Pavelec
40 37 3 60:00 .925
Caption This

Ilya Kovalchuk showed why he is one of the most dangerous players in the NHL on Tuesday. Not only did he score two goals, he also added an assist to finish the night with three points.

Kovalchuk plays the point on the power play and he had tons of chances. He ended the game with eight shots and his two goals give him 30 for the year. It is the seventh straight season that he has recorded 30 or more goals in a season.

Making his return to Atlanta, Garnet Exelby played a solid game for the Leafs on Tuesday.

Although he didn't see a great deal of ice-time, Exelby played a sound defensive game that saw him throw a nice open ice hit on Slava Kozlov. Exelby was busy killing penalties, playing 5:50 as the Leafs found themselves in the box on numerous occassions.  

As has been the case many times this season, special teams played a huge part in the game. The Leafs reverted to some bad habits as they took seven penalties although they killed off six of them.

The Leafs power play has dried up as they went 0-5 and in their last six games they are just 2 of 27. They had a chance with the man advantage in the dying seconds but the Leafs couldn't find the equalizer.

Ron Wilson reflecting on the reason for his team's downfall, including struggles on the power play:

"We kept shooting ourselves in the foot. I thought we pretty much carried the game, had a lot more scoring chances but gave up a couple of soft goals and it killed us ... Our power play just isn't clicking right now. We're just going to have work on it through the road trip."

Thursday January 21 @ Lightning
  7 PM ET (TSN, AM640)

Game Notes:
The Leafs' road trip continues as they head to Tampa Bay for the first of two games in Florida.

This is the third of four meetings between the two teams. They have split the first two games with the road team winning each time.

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