TORONTO – The backbone of many wins this season, special teams and goaltending were unable to lift the Leafs to victory once mor

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TORONTO – The backbone of many wins this season, special teams and goaltending were unable to lift the Leafs to victory once more in an otherwise forgettable performance Thursday night. Jahri Evans Jersey . Nashville scored a pair of power-play goals and Jonathan Bernier yielded four goals on 28 shots as the Leafs five-game home win streak came to an end in a 4-2 defeat. "We didnt play well enough," said captain Dion Phaneuf simply after the game. "I dont think you can say much more than that." While they scored first for the eighth time in 11 games at home – Peter Hollands first with the club – the Leafs seemed to fizzle out as the final two periods wore on at the ACC. A handful on the forecheck in the opening frame they were increasingly outworked and outmaneuvered by a pesky and relentless Predators squad. "I think our team, they all fit into the same category for us," said head coach Randy Carlyle following the loss, just the third at home for the Leafs this season (8-3-0). "We were flat after the first period. We didnt seem to have any energy, we didnt seem to have any enthusiasm and it just displayed that out on the ice surface." Seth Jones evened the score just over two minutes into the middle frame, his point shot on the man advantage redirecting off the stick of Jay McClement before beating Bernier. The goal marked the first of four straight for the Predators, who have now won three in a row. Matt Cullen would give Nashville the lead midway through period, capitalizing on lax defensive coverage. Craig Smith added a pair thereafter, including the second of two power-play goals for the Predators. Like their penalty kill – which allowed two goals for just the second time all season – the Toronto power-play (no. 1 on home ice this season) also endured a fruitless night, empty on just two opportunities. "It just seemed like the game turned and we couldnt get it back," Carlyle said. A source of so much success and stability for the better part of the season, elite special teams and terrific goaltending have propelled the Leafs to victory on many nights where it might not have been deserved otherwise. But on this night, those two elements could not propel an otherwise listless performance. Five Points 1. Stumbles on the penalty kill The second-ranked unit last season, the Toronto penalty kill hasnt been quite so dominant so far this year. Yielding a pair to the Predators, the special teams unit dropped to 15th best, successful to the tune of 82.4 per cent. Asked if hed been happy with the penalty kill, Carlyle replied, "Not lately. "Our penalty killing has been one of our stronger suits. I think that in the last couple of games weve been exposed. We havent cleared the puck when we have an opportunity – the oppositions been able to keep it in. Faceoffs, we havent got hold-ups at the proper times to get the puck down the ice to 200 feet. Those are the things that you look at and try to dissect and evaluate." Jones scored the first power-play goal on the aforementioned redirection. On the second marker late in that same period, it was Smith who beat Phaneuf to the front of the net before eluding Bernier. "My guy beats me back to the net," Phaneuf said. "Thats just a mistake that shouldnt happen, but they do and weve got to be better as a penalty killing unit. We know that." The Leaf penalty kill has actually been at its worst on home ice. The unit has allowed eight power-play goals on 36 opportunities (77.8 per cent). Certainly an aid to the group when healthy, Mark Fraser missed his second straight game with a left knee injury. 2. Berniers rare off-night versus Nashville Bernier played his 10th career game against Nashville on Thursday night – the most for him individually against any team – losing for just the second time (8-2-0). The 25-year-old, who shut out the Predators on Oct. 10 – his first as a Leaf – entered the night with a mighty .941 save percentage lifetime against a former Western Conference opponent, but was beaten on four of the final 19 shots. The final marker, the second from Smith, was fired innocently from along the boards, bouncing off the glove of Bernier and awkwardly into the net. "Ive got to make sure Im focused all game," said Bernier, who allowed four-plus goals for the third time this season. "It just happens. Those kind of goals will happen in my career. Ive just got to bounce back." Bernier still ranks eighth among save percentage leaders with a .934 mark this season. 3. Goalie dance The Leafs goalie tandem has been about the most successful aspect of the club through the opening quarter of the season. Still early, the tandem approach was worked about as well as general manager Dave Nonis could have imagined when he swung the trade for Bernier in the summer. "This isnt uncommon," said Carlyle of the tandem approach, always baffled by the constant attention surrounding the position in Toronto. "Terry Sawchuk and Johnny Bower played together didnt they? ... Grant Fuhr and Andy Moog were a pretty good tandem in Edmonton in their dynasty years. So there are examples that you can go back to where there has been two goaltenders that have went in and played very well for their hockey club. I think its a sign of strength and I think its a great thing for the organization." Of late, the load in goal has leaned in Berniers direction. Thursday marked his fourth start in the past five games and fifth in seven games this month. 4. Kadri on the edge Former Marlies coach and Oilers bench boss Dallas Eakins often said that Nazem Kadri was at his best on the edge, most effective when enraging the opposition with a belligerent style. "Yeah I agree for sure," said Kadri, returning from a three-game suspension against the Predators. "Especially when things arent going exactly your way you tend to lean to that physical side to get you in the game. If its taking a big hit or a giving a big hit, whatever it is, it kind of wakes you up a little bit and gets you emotionally involved in the game. I think [Dallas] is right and I think he knows me pretty well as a player. I know myself as a player too and sometimes I do have to look to that area to get myself going." Kadri, who was suspended for accidentally running Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom on Nov. 13, said he often has to remind himself on the bench to activate such a game. "If Im not handling the puck or I feel like Im not getting some of the bounces I might just chip it in and go hard as an F1 and try and lay someone out – and hit em clean obviously," he said. "That doesnt just only get yourself going it gets the whole team going. Youd be surprised the reaction you get from the bench." The 23-year-old played 15 minutes in his return against the Predators, scoring a late goal, his sixth this season. Kadri started the game alongside Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk, but was flipped onto a unit with Mason Raymond and Colton Orr in the third. "I think he fit in with the rest of our group," said Carlyle of Kadri. 5. Hollands opportunity In his third game with the Leafs, Holland found the back of the net. Pouncing on a puck in the neutral zone, following board battle win from Nik Kulemin, Holland was able to sling one past Predators goaltender Marek Mazanec. With Kadri back from suspension and Tyler Bozak likely to return on Saturday, future opportunity for Holland is certainly in question. "How can it not be on your mind?" said the 22-year-old honestly. "Obviously Naz was back tonight and Bozaks coming back from injury. [But] Im just trying to focus on my game and help this team win." Concluding the night alongside Kessel and van Riemsdyk, Holland played just over 13 minutes against Nashville, dropping eight of 12 faceoffs. Carlyles looming decision at centre ice – at least in the short-term – will likely come down to Holland and Trevor Smith, who had a three-game point streak snapped on Thursday night. One of the two is likely to line up in the third line centre hole when Bozak returns. Bonus Point – Kessels status Thursday marked the fourth time in the past five games that Phil Kessel logged fewer than 16 minutes – 15:27 on this night. Though he scored a pair against the Islanders two nights earlier, Kessel has proven relatively quiet offensively in recent weeks. Asked if he was playing through injury, Carlyle sidestepped carefully. "I think all our players have bumps and bruises," he said. "They all have their ailments." Stat-Pack 2 – Number of times the Leafs have allowed two power-plays in a game this season. 8-2-0 – Career record for Jonathan Bernier against Nashville. 8 – Number of times the Leafs have scored first at the ACC this season. 77.8 per cent – Success rate for the penalty kill on home ice, fifth-worst this season. 8 – Points this season for Morgan Rielly, fourth among rookie defenders. Rielly had a pair of assists on Thursday, his second multi-assist game this season. 5 – Consecutive games with a point for Mason Raymond, who notched an assist on the goal from Kadri. 17 – Points for Raymond this season, second on the team and five back of the 22 points he had in 46 games last season. 59.8 per cent – Success rate for Jerred Smithson on the draw as a Leaf. Smithson went 8-for-9 in the circle against his former team. Special Teams Capsule PP: 0-2Season: 23.6 per cent PK: 2-4Season: 82.4 per cent Quote of the Night "Maybe the luck and good fortune that weve enjoyed has turned against us in this game." -Randy Carlyle on the unlucky goals Nashville managed against his team on Thursday night. Up Next The Leafs continue a five-game home stand on Saturday night, playing host to former Leaf Mikhail Grabovski and the Washington Capitals. Damarious Randall Jersey . The Incheon-based tea, of the Korea Baseball Organization said the deal for the 35-year-old Scott included a $50,000 signing bonus. Scott reached the major leagues with Houston in 2005 and hit 23 homers or more for Baltimore each year from 2008-10. Davon House Jersey .com) - Fair Grounds commences its road to the Kentucky Derby Saturday with the 71st running of the $200,000 Lecomte Stakes. http://www.shoptheofficialpackers.com/Elite-Davante-Adams-Packers-Jersey/ . Amid a rain of confetti, Shabazz Napier basked in the celebration on the court after being named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four following the 60-54 win over Kentucky. PHILADELPHIA -- Al Jefferson tried to explain how hitting his jumper forces defences to change their approach. "It keeps them on their toes, in my opinion," Jefferson said before being cut off. "It dont change nothing," reserve Jannero Pargo chimed in from two lockers down, "he aint going to pass the ball." Much like his first-half shooting, Jeffersons retort was nearly flawless. "Well if I pass it to you, Ill get a turnover, because youll be on the bench," he said. With a one-liner about as sharp as his stat line, Jefferson had his Bobcats teammates howling. Jefferson had every reason to feel loose, with 25 points and 10 rebounds in Charlottes 123-93 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night. "This is all the time," a smiling Jefferson said of the locker room banter. So are the big wins lately for Charlotte. Perhaps Charlotte is getting hot at the right time, winning by 30-plus points for the second time in six games. "Lets hope theres a couple more," coach Steve Clifford said. Gary Neal scored 15 points to help the Bobcats inch closer to a playoff berth. The Bobcats (37-38) have the seventh-best record in the Eastern Conference. They are 4 1/2 games ahead of the eighth-place New York Knicks and need three wins in the final seven games to clinch their first playoff berth since 2010. The Bobcats are counting on Jefferson to carry them deep into April -- and possibly beyond. "It falls a lot on me," Jefferson said. "Ive only been twice (to the playoffs), but twice is more than a lot of the other guys have been." The Bobcats raced to a 13-point lead in the first quarter, stretched it to 35 and never once let the Sixers threaten. Michael Carter-Williams scored 22 points on 10-of-18 shooting for the Sixers, who have lost two straight since snapping an NBA-record tying 26-game losing streak on Saturday. The Bobcats set the tone in the first quarter en route to putting away the lowly Sixers. Led by Jefferson, the Bobcats made 11 of their first 15 shots and ffinished with nine assists on 12 baskets. Dean Lowry Jersey. Jefferson picked up where he left off in March, when he was named Eastern Conference player of the month. He averaged 24.7 points on 56 per cent shooting (178-321), 10.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists. He was the first Bobcat to ever win the award. He kept his sharp shooting rolling in the first game of April with a 13-point first quarter. "Its important to set a tone that youre going to play through him early in the game," Clifford said. Jefferson finished 9 of 17 from the floor and made 7 of 10 free throws. He has 20-plus points and 10-plus boards in the same game 23 times this season. Even in a season that has them with the second-worst record in the NBA, this was as bad as the Sixers have played in weeks. Trailing by 13, the Sixers had five turnovers and only four baskets. They missed all seven 3-point attempts in the first half and finished 4 of 18 overall. The Sixers had two starters go scoreless in the half. "They beat us up pretty bad," Carter-Williams said. Charlotte, one of the few teams to lose to the Sixers this season, broke the game open with a 22-8 run in the second. Anthony Tolliver, who scored 16 points, hit a pair of 3s during the spurt and the Bobcats cruised from there. "Thats a team getting ready for the playoffs," Sixers guard Tony Wroten said. "You can tell a big difference." The Bobcats continued doing the big things that have them within striking distance of Washington for sixth place. They had only nine turnovers (average a league-low 12.3), outrebounded the Sixers 47-32 and had three bench players score double digits. NOTES: Charlotte F Josh McRoberts (left ankle) sat out. Cody Zeller scored nine points in his first career start. ... 76ers coach Brett Brown again said that injured rookie F Nerlens Noel likely will not play at all this season. "Theres so much to weigh out if were smart with this, and we will be," he said. ... The Bobcats finished one-point shy of matching their season-high point total. Cheap Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys China Wholesale Authentic Jerseys Cheap Jerseys 2018 Cheap Jerseys 2019 NFL Jerseys Wholesale ' ' '

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