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TORONTO – Shootouts have proven a nemesis for Jonathan Bernier. But with a few adjustments on Friday evening, the 25-year-old managed to secure his team an extra point, stopping all three Buffalo shooters in a 4-3 triumph at the ACC. "I just changed a few things and felt more comfortable in net," Bernier said after the win, the Leafs fourth straight to end in a shootout. History hasnt been kind to the emerging, young netminder in the skills portion of extra time. Bernier entered the night with eight losses in 11 career shootouts – two of his three victories coming this season – his .500 save percentage amongst the worst of any active goaltender. In the final two games before the three-day Christmas break – both shootout losses – he failed to stop any of the four shots he faced from the Red Wings and Rangers. He was particularly sour with the result after a 2-1 defeat at Madison Square Garden on Monday night, one that saw him backstop the Leafs with an impressive 42 saves. He found a flaw though, with the help of video, and put it to work against the Sabres. "I think I was backing too quick the last two I did and thats the adjustment I made," said Bernier, who stopped 32 of 35 shots in regulation and overtime. "They were seeing too much net. I feel Im agile enough to get there and thats where I wanted to get the angle right and take away the net behind me." Luck was also on his side. Tyler Ennis hit a bar on the Sabres second attempt while Zemgus Girgensons failed to tuck the puck across the goal-line after beating Bernier with a clever move. Still, it was victory all the same and one the Leafs needed after two defeats to the cellar-dwelling Sabres earlier this season. Bernier improved to 3-4 in shootouts this season and now boasts a .543 career mark. Five Points 1. Unpredictable Coming off a three-day break for the Christmas holidays, Randy Carlyle wondered aloud on Friday morning what type of team might show up against the Sabres. "These games are different games Im going to tell you," he said, citing the now CBA-mandated three days off the ice with only a morning skate to speak of. "You never know what youre going to get." Unpredictable and inconsistent as they have been all year, the Leafs were under siege for most of the opening period. Buffalo scored twice in a span of 53 seconds and outshot Toronto 15-4 over the final 16 minutes of the first frame. "We self-inflicted a lot of things that happened to us in the first period," said Carlyle, highlighting an offensive zone turnover from Joffrey Lupul on Buffalos second goal. "We seemed to be trying to be too cute and played fancy and obviously that wasnt really what we needed to do. We needed to put the puck in and find ways to get through the neutral ice and establish more of a grind game and offensive zone time and we were able to do that in the second period. We were like two different hockey clubs." The Sabres 2-0 lead was quickly vanquished. Jake Gardiner, Peter Holland and Phil Kessel all scored in a dominant second frame, one that saw the Leafs outshoot their Atlantic division rival 17-5 while playing with the punishing down-low game they have been searching for all season. "We said theres nothing we can do about the first – it was done," Dion Phaneuf said afterward. "We felt that we could play better and we went out and we did that. It was a really big second period for our team." The lead nearly survived regulation. But with Phaneuf whistled for hooking in the final minute of regulation, Steve Ott managed to knot the score at three, eventually pushing the Leafs to their fourth straight shootout. "The positive is that we found a way to regroup and get ourselves back on track," said Carlyle. "But we have to play 60 minutes like we played the last two periods – as close to that as we possibly can." 2. Disdain for Shootouts Carlyle made no secret of his disdain for shootouts prior to the game. "My personal opinion on shootouts is they can take them and they can take it someplace else," he said with a hearty laugh. "Id rather see us go to overtime, go to three-on-three, two-on-two to find a winner. I look at it differently than obviously the people that have it in place." The Leafs, now 6-4 in shootouts, have won six games since Nov. 19, four of them coming in the shootout. 3. Offence from the Defence A source of some concern in the opening two months of the season, the Leaf offence is finally getting a boost from the back-end. Gardiners second goal this season gave the Leafs six goals from the defence corps in the past 11 games compared with a scant three in the first 29 games. Phaneuf leads the group with three goals this season, Franson pacing the way with 20 points, including a pair of assists on Friday. 4. Necessary Adjustments Paul Ranger played in each of the Leafs first 22 games this season, but over the course of the past month he has bounced in and out of the Toronto lineup. Carlyle said he the rust element for Ranger, following a four-year NHL absence, but "were in the business to win hockey games". Among the adjustments being asked of the 6-foot-3, 210 pound defender is a more consistent physical dimension. "I think Paul Ranger is a big, hulking man that has got much power as any player that Ive saw – hes that strong," said Carlyle of the 29-year-old. "He does things that normal people cant do as far as power. And Id like to see him use that power element on the defensive side of it..." What the Leafs would like specifically is for Ranger to assert himself with a physical edge in the defensive zone, eliminate the opposition with the size and strength hes accumulated since he last played in the league in 2008. "He has that kind of power and strength," Carlyle said. "We think thats the quickest for him to get back to the confidence level that he played at before. We need him to do that for our hockey team." Ranger was not that type of defenceman when he played in Tampa for five seasons. "He was an offensive guy," Carlyle said of Ranger, who posted a career-high of 10 goals and 31 points in 2007-08. "He was asked to join the rush all the time. And we dont think that that suits his model right now for him to get back to where he was." "I think playing consistently," said Ranger of needed improvements during a conversation with the Leaf Report. "Just reliable and consistent. And then be able to play my game a little bit more. I guess relax a little bit out there and just play my game like I know I can." 5. Christmas Break Reset The Leafs were hopeful that the recent three-day break would offer an opportunity to recharge the batteries with a furious January ahead. "You kind of hit the reset button and get away for a little bit," said Franson. "I think thats big for a lot of us right now, just having gone through what we went through the last little while here and trying to find our identity a bit. The breaks big for that, to be able to step away from the game for a couple days and be with some family and think about other things than hockey." Stats-Pack 4-8 – Career record for Jonathan Bernier in the shootout. 1 – Regulation victory for the Leafs in the past 19 games. 8 – Points for Peter Holland in the past 10 games, including his sixth goal this season against the Sabres. 6 – Goals from the Toronto defence in the past 11 games. 3 – Goals from the Toronto defence in the first 29 games. 2 – Points from Phil Kessel on Friday, his first multi-point outing since Dec. 7, a nine-game stretch. 5-6-2 – Leafs record in December. Special Teams Capsule PP: 1-3Season: 22.7 per cent (4th) PK: 0-1Season: 77.9 per cent (27th) Quote of the Night "Do we like shootouts? No." -Randy Carlyle, following his teams fourth straight shootout decision. Up Next The Leafs host the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday night, their final game before Wednesdays Winter Classic. Johnny Unitas Jersey . Coming off a 6-0 drubbing at Chelsea on Saturday, Arsenal endured another demoralizing result after rallying for a 2-1 lead -- only to concede a fluke equalizer. Pat McAfee Youth Jersey . On paper, it looks a little like Andre the Giant taking on a midget wrestler. It has all the makings of a rout with the Americans adding an eighth win in nine outings of this biennial event. The Yanks have eight players in the top 15 in the world while the Internationals have just one. http://www.coltsofficialstore.us/authen ... jersey/.ca! Hi Kerry, The recent issues in the Boston-Pittsburgh game have highlighted a number of officiating, game control, and player sportsmanship aspects. Andrew Luck Womens Jersey . Smith, who raised eyebrows at the CFL combine in March with his ability on both sides of the ball, confirmed in a statement he tested positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol prior to auditioning for league officials. Marvin Harrison Jersey . CSKA received the heavier punishment of playing its next European home game behind closed doors, after its supporters displayed racist and far-right symbols in the Czech Republic during a 2-1 loss to Viktoria Plzen on Dec.BROSSARD, Que. -- When the Montreal Canadiens signed veteran Douglas Murray on Aug. 22, it didnt sound like good news for young defencemen Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu. But neither seemed bothered by the move, which took away a possible job opening, as they went through their drills at the Canadiens rookie camp on Friday. "We play similar styles," said the six-foot-six Tinordi, who like Murray is a stay at home blue-liner who likes to hit. "I think I can learn a lot from him in the main camp. "Hes a good player and I think hell help this team a lot with his physical play. But as far as looking at it as my spot, I dont think so. Im just going to play my game and see what happens." Tinordi spent most of last season with Hamilton in the AHL, but was called up for eight regular season games and stayed on for the post-season as the Canadiens were eliminated in five games by the Ottawa Senators. He looked like a strong candidate to start the 2013-14 campaign in Montreal, but now the top-6 on defence looks to be booked by P.K. Subban, Josh Gorges, Andrei Markov, Rafael Diaz, Francis Bouillon and Murray, with the re-signed Davis Drewiske as the seventh man. Murray was signed mainly to fill in for Alexei Emelin, who blew out a knee late last season and will be out of action until at least December after reconstructive surgery. Still, a youngster like Tinordi or Beaulieu can still play his way into the mix with a strong camp. Thats what both hope to accomplish. "Ive just got to play hard, be physical and play with an edge," said the son of former NHL defenceman Mark Tinordi. "I think my puck skills have improved too, so I want to show that, and my skating. "I have high goals for myself. I want to play in the NHL this year, but as far as looking at it as a disappointment (if he doesnt), I wouldnt say that." Beaulieu, 20, is a offensive defenceman and power play point man, who would be more likely to move in if Markov, Subban or Diaz is injured. He played six NHL games last season, picking up two assists. "Look at the guys they signed -- I dont feel they fit my type of game," said Beaulieu. "But Im here trying to make the team. Im not looking at the numbers. "If Im ready to play, hopefully Ill get an opportunity. Management has been spectacular with me so far, so I have no doubts about that." Beaulieu, the Canadiens first round pick in 2011, spent the summer living near the Canaddiens training facility and working out daily with conditioning coach Pierre Allard.dddddddddddd His got himself into trouble in April when he and his father, former Sarnia Sting coach Jacques Beaulieu, were charged with assault after getting into a fight at a charity golf tournament. However, after pleading guilty, Beaulieu was given a conditional discharge, so he will not have a conviction on his record. "Its over with," he said. "Its been handled and its all about the future now. "Ive already forgotten about it. The organizations forgotten about it. So, its over and done with. Im relieved, and its time to play hockey." At camp, he wants to show the Canadiens that he has taken a step forward as a person and a player. "Ive been trying to take on more of a leadership role," he said. "Its my third (camp), so its important to make an impression early and show that Ive matured, grown up." Other defencemen with NHL aspirations for this season include Greg Pateryn, who looked good in a three-game call-up by the Canadiens last season, and 2011 draft pick Magnus Nygren of Sweden. Morgan Ellis, who spent a first pro season in Hamilton in 2012-13, and Saskatoon Blades Darren Dietz and Dalton Thrower are also in camp. Among the forwards are hulking first-rounder Michael McCarron, who will spend this season with the OHLs London Knights, Kamloops Blazers scoring star Tim Bozon, and former Shawingan Cataractes captain Michael Bornival, who has an outside shot at making the jump to the NHL. Also in camp is Justin Courtnall, the 24-year-old son of former NHLer Geoff Courtnall and nephew of ex-Canadiens winger Russ Courtnall. He signed an AHL contract to play in Hamilton, but hopes to crack the NHL lineup. "My uncle Russ was extremely happy and my dad as well," said Courtnall. "My uncle has only great things to say about the city. "He was a great player and lots of fun to watch. Very fast. I hope I can come close to his reputation here." Asked if he played like his uncle, Courtnall said: "Maybe the skating, but a bit more physical. More like my dad, Id say." Another player to watch in camp is goaltender Zach Fucale of the Memorial Cup champion Halifax Mooseheads. He was drafted 36th overall in June. With Carey Price and Peter Budaj set in goal, Fucale is almost certain to return to the Mooseheads, but hopes at least to make it to the main camp, which opens next week. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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