|Leafs out-battled by Canes for the majority of sixty minutes|
In the third period Grabovski carried the puck up the middle and gave a saucer pass to Boyce who was going hard to the net. Boyce shot it off the pad of Cam Ward and the rebound came right to Kulemin who buried it and gave the Leafs their first lead of the game. A few minutes later after one of many unsuccessful powerplay attempts, Kessel threw a wrist shot at Cam Ward that Joffrey Lupul tipped just enough to give the Leafs a 3-1 lead. The Leafs couldn't hold the lead though... Just a few minutes later Keith Aulie pinched to try to hold the offensive blueline and Dion Phaneuf didn't back him up enough. Eric Staal would take the puck on a breakaway and score on Reimer through the five-hole. A few minutes after that the Leafs were hemmed in their own zone for a long shift and the puck found its way behind Reimer... All of the sudden a 3-1 Leafs lead halfway through the third turned into a 3-3 game and the Hurricanes had all the momentum.
With just over six minutes left in the third period both Clarke MacArthur and Nazem Kadri were stripped of the puck on partial breakaways... Carolina was taking the game to the Leafs until they took a two many men penalty with just three minutes left in the third period. The leafs didn't score and to make matters worse, just as the powerplay ended Carolina came roaring into the Toronto zone on a 3-on-1 rush... James Reimer would make a huge save to keep the game tied.
The game would go into overtime and just 30 seconds in the Hurricanes were in on another odd man rush, a 2-on-1 with Joffrey Lupul the last Leaf back. Lupul would make a great play to break up the rush and keep the Leafs alive... The game would press on and with two and a half minutes left in the overtime period Tim Connolly was knocked to the ice and as he fell he tripped the Carolina player. It was definitely a dive, but given the fact that the Leafs had seven powerplays and Carolina only had two, you knew it was coming. Sure enough, on the powerplay Carolina scored and won a game. They deserved it, it was only a matter of time.
The Leafs managed a point but despite having a two-goal lead at one point in the third period really didn't deserve it. They looked bad... They made a ton of stupid mistakes once again which cost them the game... No John-Michael Liles means no functioning powerplay... Liles is also all hustle, he leads by example, the Leafs showed no signs of hustle... No signs of wanting to win... They deserved to lose... Their next game is on Saturday against the Jets. They need to come out with a much stronger effort and play a full sixty minute hockey game.