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Leafs Win in Carlyle's debut as Head Coach



Randy Carlyle during practice
PHOTO: mapleleafs.com
Randy Carlyle made his debut as Leafs coach tonight in Montreal. The Leafs won the game by a score of 3-1. The Leafs came out with some jump tonight, but the Habs quickly matches their pace and slowed down the team in blue.

Montreal got on the board in the first period and really took the momentum from there. In the second though, the Leafs started to get their game going. Matt Frattin tied the game as he pulled the puck off a scrummed face-off and threw it at the net, over the glove of Carey Price. The third period was a little dull compared to the first two, until Mikhail Grabovski broke the deadlock with a beautifully placed shot into the top corner. The game really heated up after that goal as Montreal pressed for the equalizer, but late in the game Frattin fed the puck to Grabovski, who was wide open in front, and he put his second of the game past Carey Price.

This was the first win for the Leafs since February 15th, and their second win in just under a month. It might be too late for the Leafs to rejuvenate a playoff run, but this win gives a glimmer of hope. The Leafs are three points behind the Jets for the last playoff spot, but will have to jump Tampa Bay, Washington, and Buffalo, assuming the Sabres convert their lead into a win tonight.

The Leafs return home for Tuesday's game with the Boston Bruins, before heading back on the road for Wednesday night's match-up with the Penguins. These two upcoming games will effect their playoff run immensely.

  • Mike Brown left the game after fighting in the first period.
  • David Steckel was moved up to the third line, Tim Connolly moved to the wing and Matthew Lombardi centered the fourth line, where Steckel has played for most of the season.
  • Cody Franson and Colby Armstrong were healthy scratches, the Leafs have also called up Jay Rosehill from the Marlies.
  • Jonas Gustavsson struggled early on before settling nicely for the second and third period.


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