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Win Gets Leafs A Little Closer

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Matt Iaboni

April 2, 2011
Scotiabank Place
Ottawa, ON
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The Leafs allowed the Senators to stick around and Jason Spezza tied the game early in the third. Tyler Bozak had Joffrey Lupul's shot hit his skate and past Craig Anderson just 2:39 later to restore the lead.

The game wasn't iced until there was 1:20 left. Clarke MacArthur did a great job to steal the puck from Jason Spezza and fed Nikolai Kulemin who tapped home the insurance marker. It was Kulemin's 29th of the season and sealed the Leafs' third straight win.

18-7-5 Leafs' record since February 1st.
13 Shots for Joffrey Lupul in the last two games against Ottawa.
15 Career goals for Phil Kessel against Ottawa.
4 Points in his last five games for Nazem Kadri.
19 Road wins for the Leafs on the season, most in four seasons.
1st Star
Phil Kessel
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2nd Star
Jason Spezza
G A P +/- Shots
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3rd Star
Clarke MacArthur
G A P +/- Shots
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There were several candidates but Phil Kessel was the best player in Blue and White on Saturday. Kessel got the Leafs off on the right foot when he scored his 30th goal in the first period.

He joined some elite company becoming just the third player to hit the 30-goal plateau for the third season in a row. The goal also gave him 61 points this season which is a new career high. He also extended his point streak to eight points ( two goals, six assists) in seven games.

It was another stellar game from James Reimer. Although he wasn't tested that often, he made the saves when it mattered. With the Leafs leading 2-0, Reimer stretched out and robbed Jesse Winchester with his left pad. He finished the game with 23 saves.

The victory was Reimer's 20th of the season which ties him for the seventh most all-time for Leafs rookie goalies. So far in his young career he is 2-0-1 against Ottawa allowing a paltry three goals.

The stats that the Leafs keep piling up in the last two months of the season continue to be staggering. While the win was the Leafs' third consecutive they have won seven of their last eight games.

With the victory over the Senators, the Leafs have put together an impressive record against their own division going 13-8-2. The Leafs have a winning record against all their rivals and they are 8-0-1 in their last nine against the Northeast Division with one game remaining.

Ron Wilson's thoughts after another big road win for his team:
"When they tied the game we got a power play and we managed to score. Then their guy got the five-minute major and it was like we were killing time, we didn't have anybody at the net. But we got the job done and i'm happy with that."

Tuesday, April 5 vs. Washington Capitals
  7 PM ET (Sportsnet, AM640)

Game Notes:
The Maple Leafs return home to Air Canada Centre to face Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. After struggling earlier this season, the Capitals have gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 games to sit in first in the East.

Alex Ovechkin scored the overtime winner Saturday against Buffalo to cap a wild 5-4 win.

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