Maple Leafs

Game Recap

Toskala shines, leads Leafs past Preds 3-1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:48 AM

Kevin Wilson - Nashville Predators

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Toskala shines, leads Leafs past Preds 3-1
Nashville Predators 1, Toronto Maple Leafs 3
The Nashville Predators out-chanced and outshot the Toronto Maple Leafs all night long, but Leaf goalie Vesa Toskala put together a masterful, 34-save performance to prevent the Preds from taking all three games of an Eastern Canada road trip that started last Thursday in Ottawa. The Leafs scored one goal in the opening minutes of each period to defeat Nashville, 3-1, at the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday night.
Predators Video
Highlights: Predators 1, Maple Leafs 3

Nashville outshot its opponent for eighth time in nine outings, 35-15, but was unable to get on the board until the 55th minute of regulation. Neither team scored on one of their multiple power-play opportunities – Nashville finished 0-for-5, while Toronto went 0-for-4.

Toronto got on the board just 28 seconds into the contest on Nik Antropov’s 11th goal of the season. The marker came when a Hal Gill point shot deflected off a Predator defenseman in front and directly onto the stick of Antropov, who had a wide open net to shoot at from the doorstep.

Despite giving up the early goal, the Preds quickly settled into the game’s up-and-down pace, and outshot the Leafs for the period, 7-5. Both teams stuck to its guns defensively, and it made scoring chances at a premium. Neither team converted on two first-period power play attempts, though nearly half the frame’s shots on goal came while one team was skating a man down.

Toronto came out firing in the second period, and scored just 1:33 in on its second shot of the frame. The goal was again a product of an uncovered Leaf in front of the net, as this time Matt Stajan harnessed a bouncing puck and swatted it over Preds goalie Chris Mason’s left shoulder.
David Legwand attempts to beat goalie Vesa Toskala from just outside the crease.

Nashville began to straighten out its game after falling behind 2-0, and really picked up the pressure five minutes into the period, beginning with the upstart line of Jed Ortmeyer, Radek Bonk and Martin Gelinas. The Preds outshot the home team 7-0 over the next five minutes, producing several scoring chances – including a wide-open shot from right in front by Jason Arnott at 9:58 – in addition to earning their fourth power play of the contest at 7:33.

Arnott put 12 shots on Toskala in the game, a new franchise record for shots on goal by an individual.

Momentum tilted back toward Toronto in the middle part of period, after back-to-back penalties put the Predators down a man for four minutes of a 4:06 span. But the penalty killers, who have not allowed a goal in four straight contests, performed admirably under pressure. Following the kills, Nashville intensified its attack, but still couldn’t beat Toskala despite their best efforts, putting 14 more shots on him in the middle 20 minutes.

Another quick start to a period ultimately doomed the Predators, as a fluky bounce gave Wade Belak his first goal in 143 games and his team a commanding 3-0 lead at 2:48 of the third. Similar to the first goal of the game, Belak was simply at the right place at the right time when a shot deflected of a Nashville defender and right onto his stick.

Nashville continued to generate prime scoring chances from all over the zone, but Toskala was on top of his game. Some of the Finnish goaltender’s best saves came midway through the third on another point-blank try by Arnott that left him laughing in disbelief and moments later on a two-on-one chance.
Captain Jason Arnott bears down on Darcy Tucker as they battle for a puck in the corner.

It took a deflection off one of his defender’s sticks to finally beat the Leaf goalie at 14:05. Shea Weber scored the Preds first and only goal of the game when he fired a harmless wrist shot from just inside the blue line that ricocheted off Tomas Kaberle’s blade and over Toskala’s blocker. The unassisted marker was Weber’s first goal and fourth point since returning from a knee injury seven games ago.

Nashville showed some life after trimming the deficit back to two goals, but it proved to be too little, too late.

The Predators are now done with the Eastern Conference for the next 25 games - their next inter-conference matchup comes Jan. 29 at Boston. The 25-game stretch against Western foes starts on Thursday, when they welcome the Vancouver Canucks to the Sommet Center for the first of four straight home games. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m., and tickets are still available by calling (615) 770-PUCK, logging on to or, and by visiting the Sommet Center Box Office located in the arena tower.

Game Notes: Nashville scratched Kevin Klein, Vernon Fiddler and Scott Nichol from the lineup, while Toronto sat Jiri Tlusty, John Pohl and Bates Battaglia…. Darcy Hordichuk was in the Predator lineup for just the second time since Oct. 27, while Nashville dressed seven defensemen for the first time all year… Nashville is now 6-2-1 in its last nine road contests and 11-4-2 since Oct. 25… The Predators are 4-1-0 against the Eastern Conference this season, and 5-3-1 all-time vs. Toronto… Dan Hamhuis doled out a game-high five hits and fellow blueliner Shea Weber posted a game-high four blocked shots… Marek Zidlicky led all Preds in ice time (23:47)… Jason Arnott was the best Nashville centerman in the face-off circle, winning 11 of 15 draws (73%)… Tonight was the first time a Predators game has been decided by more than one goal since Nov. 12 vs. Columbus, a span of eight games.
scoring summary
1st Period
Nik Antropov (11) ASST: Hal Gill (8), Mats Sundin (21)
1 - 0 TOR
2nd Period
Matt Stajan (6) ASST: Boyd Devereaux (3), Tomas Kaberle (13)
2 - 0 TOR
3rd Period
Wade Belak (1) ASST: Chad Kilger (3), Tomas Kaberle (14)
3 - 0 TOR
Shea Weber (1) ASST: NONE
3 - 1 TOR
penalty summary
1st Period
Jason Arnott  Holding against  Matt Stajan
Bryan McCabe  Holding against  Jerred Smithson
Nik Antropov  Hi-sticking against  Dan Hamhuis
Alexander Radulov  Hooking against  Alexander Steen
2nd Period
Hal Gill  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
Wade Belak  Holding against  Ryan Suter
Marek Zidlicky  Hooking against  Darcy Tucker
Radek Bonk  Boarding against  Staffan Kronwall
3rd Period
Mats Sundin  Slashing against  David Legwand
goalie stats
Chris Mason
Chris Mason
SA: 15TOI: 58:58
Saves: 12EV: 10 - 13
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .800SH: 0 - 0
Vesa Toskala
Vesa Toskala
SA: 35TOI: 60:00
Saves: 34EV: 22 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 10 - 10
SV%: .971SH: 2 - 2 is the official Web site of the Nashville Predators and are trademarks of the Nashville Predators.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Nashville Predators and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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