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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Leafs Lose Against Habs


The Toronto Maple Leafs were facing the Montreal Canadiens in a Saturday Night showdown between the 2 teams. It was a battle of 2 teams going in different directions. The Leafs winning 6 of their last 7, and the Habs playing their worst home hockey since 1968. It was sure to be a good game.

The 1st goal of the game went to the Canadiens, as Saku Koivu snapped a 12-game scoreless drought with goal off Hal Gill's skate. The Leafs then pressured all period to get the goal that would tie it, but they couldn't get it passed Carey Price, who was playing amazing. The shot total was 13-6 in Toronto's favour at the end of 1 period, but the Habs still held the lead.

Then the 2nd period started. The 2nd period had been a place that the Leafs had dominated all year, scoring a league-high 44 goals in the 2nd. But that was not the case in this game.

Early in the period, Saku Koivu scored his 2nd of the game to give the Habs a 2-0 lead, and the effects of the game a day before, were starting to show for the Leafs. They let the Habs have consistent pressure in the zone, playing almost a penalty kill system, but 5-5. Eventually, the Canadiens scored again, when a shot from the point from Mike Komisarek was tipped in by Andrei Kostsitsyn. Going into the 3rd period, the Habs had a 3-0 lead.

It was more of the same in the 3rd, as Alex Kovalev added to the lead before a late goal by Devereaux cut the lead to 4-1. Then, with the game virtually over, Bryan McCabe went down after receiving a check from Kostsitsyn, and went straight to the dressing room. What the Maple Leafs trainers found was not good.

After the game was final, at 4-1, the trainers found 3 breaks in McCabe's hand. The earliest he could come back is in 6-8 weeks. Toronto coach Paul Maurice was livid, saying Kostitsyn horse-collared McCabe and threw him into the boards.

"He's too good a player to miss that much time after a (expletive) play like that," he said.

But in the other dressing room, it was a much happier feeling. Saku Koivu ended a 12-game scoreless drought, and the Habs ended a horrible winless streak at home.

"When you don't score and there's a lot of talk about not scoring, getting that first goal was a big relief," said Koivu. "But this was more about getting that win on home ice. We played well for 60 minutes and, when you play well defensively, it gives you a chance to win."

The Leafs will now play Tuesday against the Ligtning, while the Habs will play the Panthers on Tuesday.

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