Clarkson’s OT winner spoils Reimer’s return to Buds cage
James Reimer returned to the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup tonight after being out with a concussion suffered in Montreal on a hit by Brian Gionta. In the end, David Clarkson’s second goal of the game proved to be the winner as the New Jersey Devils skated to a 3-2 OT victory.
Cornwall - Dec. 6, 2011 - James Reimer returned to the Maple Leafs lineup tonight after being out with a concussion suffered in Montreal on a hit by Brian Gionta. The Leafs netminder had some solid moments in the game, including a great save with 3:44 left in the third period that propelled the Leafs into overtime. In the end, David Clarkson’s second goal of the game proved to be the winner as the New Jersey Devils skated to a 3-2 OT victory.
The Leafs got off to a slow start and found themselves down 2-0 after the first period. Ilya Kovalchuk scored the opening goal for New Jersey. The Leafs were outshot 11-4 in the opening frame.
Without question, coach Ron Wilson couldn’t have been too pleased with his team’s performance and something he said at intermission lit a fire under the boys in blue. Phil Kessel scored his 17th goal of the season and the Leafs went on to outshoot the Devils 16-5 in the middle stanza.
Matt Frattin tied the game at two apiece early in the third period. The teams would exchange scoring chances over the remaining minutes of the game. Kessel looked particularly fast on a few rushes late in the game and it is easy to see why he is the league’s top scorer.
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Fans have to feel for Carl Gunnarson who fanned on a one-timer midway through the Overtime period. That gaff resulted in a break, down to the Leafs end and Clarkson buried a great pass from Danius Zubrus behind Reimer for the victory.
The Leafs outshot the Devils 31-26 in front of 19,513 fans at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto went 0 for 2 on the powerplay, while the Devils converted on two of their four chances. Luke Schenn had a solid game registering 10 hits.
With the OT loss the Leafs’ record now stands at 15-10-3, which represents a winning percentage of .589. Toronto currently sits in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
The Leafs’ next game is this Friday night when the travel to the US Capital to take on Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals. You can be sure that former London Knights coach Dale Hunter will want to avenge the 7-1 loss his team received during the last meeting of the two teams.
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