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10/07/2010

Leafs beat Habs in home opener

Rick Madonik, Staff Photographer

The 2010-11 NHL Season kicked off tonight with an Original Six match up that always gets some attention - Toronto vs Montreal. The Leafs played host to the Habs and won their opening night game 3-2 despite a last minute flurry of action by the Canadiens which was thwarted by Leaf netminder JS Giguere.

Tonight we staffed the game with two photographers - myself and Richard Lautens. Richard worked the upstairs position and I took the ice level position.

The Leafs looked good. They skated well, passed well and put the puck in the net three times. There were a number of other chances which almost produced a goal, but overall, the team looked good. Although TML management is keeping expectations in check, the goal of the franchise is the playoffs this year. Having reworked much of the composition of the team, Coach Ron Wilson and GM Brian Burke both say the team is capable of a playoff berth. Only time will tell if the scenario plays out, but if tonight is any indication, the Leafs just might prove themselves worthy of some post-season action. We can only hope.

Here's a small selection from both Lautens and myself on tonight's game.

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In third period action, In the dying seconds of the game, Montreal captain, Brian Gionta gets close but Leaf goalie, JS Giguere shuts the door. (Richard Lautens)

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Montreal's Lars Eller can't slip the puck past JS Giguere during the home opener of the NHL season. (Rick Madonik)


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The Leafs Fredrik Sjostrom goes down courtesy of Montreal's Maxim Lapierre. (Richard Lautens)


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Phil Kessel waits for the puck drop during the home opener of the NHL season between Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens. (Rick Madonik)


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Montreal's Josh Gorges works against Leafs Nikolai Kulemin (41) and Mikhail Grabovski in the corner. (Rick Madonik)


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Mike Komisarek (left) is about to pat Kris Versteeg on the head as Leafs celebrate the Phil Kessel goal during the home opener of the NHL season between Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens Thursday night at the Air Canada Centre. (Rick Madonik)


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In first period action, the Leafs Tim Brent scores the first goal of the season and his first as a leaf.  He is seen sandwiched between Mike Brown (left) and Francois Beauchemin (right). (Richard Lautens)

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The Leafs Kris Versteeg gets pushed down by Montreal's Josh Georges. (Richard Lautens)

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Canadians check out the final attempt to score on the centre ice screen as they leave the ice following the home opener of the NHL season between Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens. (Rick Madonik)


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In third period action, the Leafs celebrate the end of the game. Tomas Kaberle waves to the crowd. (Richard Lautens)

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The photo: "Montreal's Josh Gorges works against Leafs Nikolai Kulemin (41) and Phil Kessel in the corner."

It is not Phil Kessel, it's Grabovski. You can tell by the jersey number, helmet, and face. Other than that, awesome photo!

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