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Toskala Turns The Table

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Asif Hossain

November 21, 2009
Air Canada Centre
Toronto, ON
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1 0 0 0 0 (0-2) 1
0 1 0 0 1 (2-2) 2

A late-game disappointment looked in the cards again for the Maple Leafs on Saturday, when the Capitals were buzzing around Vesa Toskala's net in the final minutes of the third period.

Luck favoured the blue and white on this night when Eric Fehr and Brian Pothier both hit the post in the final three minutes and the Leafs escaped to overtime.

8 The number of penalty minutes the Leafs killed in not allowing the Caps a power play goal.
24 How many shots the Capitals blocked as a team v. Leafs 13.
39% Matt Stajan's faceoff percentage as he won nine and lost 14. 
10 In each of the first three periods, Toskala faced exactly this many shots.
17 How many shots the Leafs got on Varlamov in a dominating second period.
1st Star
Vesa Toskala
32 31 1 64:57 .968
2nd Star
Niklas Hagman
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 1 3
3rd Star
Semyon Varlamov
39 38 1 65:00 .974
Caption This

Vesa Toskala. After receiving some criticism for his performance in the early part of the year, the Maple Leafs goaltender had his best outing this season.  His timely stops bailed out a Leafs offence that had difficulty solving Toskala's opposing number, Semyon Varlamov.

Toskala stopped 31 of 32 shots that came his way during the 60 minutes and overtime. Fehr and Alex Ovechkin failed to beat him in the shootout and Toskala earned the game's first star for his effort.

Niklas Hagman scored the equalizer and the shootout winner, but it was Francois Beauchemin who largely kept Washington superstar Ovechkin's production to a single goal on the night.

The defenceman acquired as a free agent this offseason, led all Maple Leafs players with 27 minutes and 12 seconds of ice time.  He also played 5:11 of eight minutes in a penalty killing role, helping to hold the Caps fiery power play to a shutout.

Toronto reversed their shooting statistics from Thursday night in Carolina.

The Maple Leafs had allowed 86 shots saved, attempted or missed toward their own net on Thursday. But Saturday, that number was on their side of the offensive charts as they peppered Capitals netminder Semyon Varlamov with 39 shots and another 47 attempts.  

Ian White on how the Maple Leafs kept the Capitals, and Ovechkin in particular, from exploding on the scoresheet:

"We took away their time and space ... we did a great job having the third man high which allowed us to stay up on him."

Monday November 23 vs. NY Islanders
7:00PM ET (SNET-O, AM640)

Game Notes:
The Maple Leafs look for their second straight win against the Islanders, a feat Toronto has only achieved once this year, beating Carolina and Detroit on back to back nights on November 6-7.

Isles' 1st overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, John Tavares, is expected to make his ACC debut.

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