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Maple Leafs 3 v. NY Islanders 4 (OT): Second Verse Same As The First

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Despite throwing 61 shots at Dwayne Roloson the Maple Leafs fell 4-3 in overtime to the New York Islanders. On the bright side, John Tavares was a complete non-factor. After a dominating first period the Maple Leafs fell behind to a Jeff Tambellini breakaway goal as a long period of pressure went unrewarded, a pretty good Matt Moulson deflection, and, frankly, a terrible all around effort on Sean Bergenheim's short-handed goal. Toskala left with a lower body injury which was probably a pain in the ass from all of the needless needling he took from fans after the third goal. I hate Toskala as much as the next guy - and hope he's really injured because Kypreos seemed to be intimating that he quit on the team - but Kaberle made a brutal effort at blocking the shot and ended up doing nothing more than backing in too far and providing the kind of screen that the Leafs' forwards couldn't match all night.

Update: Here is Dominik's (Lighthouse Hockey) recap of the game and a look at the NHL.com shot chart for tonight's game.

 

Of course, when you're playing a terrible team like the Islanders (I know, the irony) who is on the back end of a seven game road-trip, it's not that hard to continue taking the game to them. The Leafs were rewarded when Matt Stajan's embarrassment at getting his stick knocked out of his hands turned to joy as he ended up by a loose puck to set up Phil Kessel to break Roloson's goose egg. The third period was one way traffic as the Leafs' dogged puck pursuit created chance after chance. Wayne Primeau potted a rebound after showing the Leafs that it's not actually against the law to stand directly in front of the goalie. And then Niklas Hagman made a great rush to prove that he can finish just as much as he can dangle. The Leafs were attacking with speed and looked poise to snatch a winner in regulation.

Instead, they didn't score on a final powerplay and almost made it through overtime before a terrible Ian White play combined with Tomas Kaberle's exhaustion and a bad bounce off of the side of the net (seriously, that shot comes by a million times and shoots in front of the net maybe 5 times) conspired to keep the Leafs from another shot at the shootout. So the Leafs' don't begin a winning streak but they also lose John Mitchell. Great news all around.

Who were your players of the game and who could have done more? Let's talk it out sans razor blades folks.