The five takeaways

Five key points from the Flames-Leafs tilt

Saturday, 15.01.2011 / 7:04 PM / News
By Torie Peterson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@toriepeterson)
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The five takeaways

TORONTO, ON -- It took four shooters to decide but the Calgary Flames were able to pull out a 2-1 shootout win against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Olli Jokinen scored the game winner for the Flames and Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 31 shots in the victory.

It was a slugfest in Toronto as the Leafs looked tired from their four-game road swing and the Flames playing with a bit less speed than usual as they were taking part in the second game in a back-to-back situation.

Calgary held the edge in shots throughout the game and were able to hold Toronto to just 11 shots through the first 40 minutes.

Matt Stajan scored the game's first goal 13:07 of the third period thanks to a determined, gritty effort. While battling Luke Schenn in the corner, Stajan backhanded the puck to another former Leaf Niklas Hagman. The Finn took the puck hard to the net, shot it at J.S. Giguere and the rebound bounced out the slot. Curtis Glencross swatted at the puck while Stajan raced to the front of the net. The pivot was able to bat the puck into the back of the net on the fifth try, notching his third goal of the campaign.

The Leafs managed to tie it up with 13 seconds left in regulation while on the power play thanks to Mikhail Grabovski's 18th of the season. He was able to pick up a rebound and slide it past Kiprusoff.

TAKEAWAY ONE: Return to Toronto

Earlier in the season, the spotlight was on Dion Phaneuf's return to Calgary for the first time since being traded to Toronto in a seven player deal last season. On Saturday, the attention shifted to Stajan and Hagman's first game back in Toronto since the blockbuster deal.

"My draft was in Toronto." Stajan told the assembled media before the game. "Everything's been based around that organization. It will be nice to go back, obviously. I have a home there. That's where I grew up. It will be nice."

The Mississauga native had 25 people in attendance watching his return to the Air Canada Centre and he did not disappoint. Stajan notched the game's first goal, breaking a 12-game goalless drought and picking up his first goal on the road this season.

Hagman assisted on the Stajan tally, giving him his fourth point in four games.

TAKEAWAY TWO: Homecoming

For Flames blueliner Mark Giordano, playing against the Maple Leafs has special meaning. Giordano hails from Toronto and on Saturday, he had approximately 100 friends and family sitting in the stands at the Air Canada Centre.

Giordano has played well against the Maple Leafs throughout his career, scoring his first two NHL goals against his childhood team, and once again, he had a solid effort against Toronto.

Giordano recorded a one shot, two hits and one blocked shot in 26:24 of ice time.

TAKEAWAY THREE: Lackluster power play

The Flames may sit 24th in th NHL on the power play, clicking at 15.2 per cent, but they had an opportunity to boost that number against a woeful Leafs penalty killing that sits 26th in the league with a 77.8 per cent kill rate.

It was a wasted opportunity. The Flames failed to capitalize on both chances on the power play and were unable to keep sustained pressure throughout those four minutes with the extra man.

The Maple Leafs didn't waste their chance, scoring the equalizer with 13 seconds left in regulation while Ales Kotalik sat in the sin bin for hooking.

TAKEAWAY FOUR: Turnover trouble in T.O.

One of the biggest problems the Maple Leafs have this season is their ability to kill their own momentum.

Toronto was a turnover machine throughout the contest and many of those giveaways came in their own zone. One memorable gaff came in the first 5:00 of the second period when Luke Schenn, who had time and space in his favour, opted to send the puck up the center of the ice from the faceoff circle in his own end. Alex Tanguay read the play perfectly, hopped up and grabbed the puck before it left the zone.

Jarome Iginla saw the play develop, rushed to the net and was able to deflect Tanguay's pass right on net, forcing Guigere to make a tough save from close range.

TAKEAWAY FIVE: Calm, cool Kipper

After a less than stellar night in Carolina on Tuesday, Kiprusoff sat out of Friday's tilt against the Ottawa Senators and Henrik Karlsson carried the Flames to a 3-2 win. Kiprusoff jumped back into action in Toronto and he was on top of his game.

The netminder's best save came in overtime when the Leafs were able to get an excellent shorthanded scoring opportunity. Tyler Bozak nabbed the puck in the neutral zone and went streaking into the Flames zone on a breakaway.

He chose to take a shot from close range, trying to beat Kiprusoff high glove side, but the Finn had other ideas. He followed the play all the way through and somehow got his glove on the shot, deflecting it into the corner.