Pavel Kubina Strong as Leafs Continue to Roll

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Pavel Kubina Strong as Leafs Continue to Roll

With Kubina playing strong on defense, the Leaf's racked up another win, downing the struggling Senators 5-4 in Otttawa. Kubina was key to the win, with two assists and a game-saving move in the final seconds when he removed Senator forward Mike Fischer from the side of the goal as a puck came dangerously close to finding its way over the goal line. Kubina certainly has found his groove at long last, having netted two game winners in the past week. 

Kubina looked good in getting point shots to the net on the power play, and especially mobile in his rush up the ice at the end of the second period. With the Leafs down 4-2 after three quick Ottawa goals, he went end to end and got off a great shot on Gerber in the Ottawa net. The save was made, but the juicy rebound went straight to Tucker who made no mistake rifling the puck into the open side. That goal turned the tide in the game as the Leafs came out and jumped on two bad Ottawa give-aways in the first minutes of the third period to retake the lead for good. 

The Leafs have saved their best hockey of the season for the home stretch. Their power play continued its resurgence going 2 for 3. They were hit by the Ottawa storm in the second period but remained unfazed and undaunted. Meanwhile the Senators, who looked in the second period like the unstoppable version that dominated the early season, fell apart with poor transitional play and poor defensive recovery in the third. The Leafs then looked good holding the lead until the final minute and a half mad scramble.

Without their top two scorers the Leafs capitalized on their chances, especially in the third when Tlustly looked like a real goal scorer with a patient move on Gerber and Stajan and Blake connected on a perfectly executed give and go. While the chances are that the Leafs will end up a point or so out of the playoff race, they at least look like they have some decent building blocks, or decent trade-able assets, whichever way you look at it. The Senators, meanwhile, look to be unsure of themselves and defensively mistake prone. Not good signs for the former team to beat in the east.
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