Citizen canes the Leafs

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

The Ottawa Citizen newspaper, anticipating the end of Toronto's domination of the hometown Senators, is counting down the days until the Leafs' playoff demise.

Since early March, the Citizen has been running 'Leaf Watch' after every Toronto game, detailing the result and calculating the dwindling chances Toronto has of reaching the 90 points needed for a shot at a post-season berth.

'We're charting their course as the season winds down and at the appropriate time, we'll declare them dead,' reads the tag on the feature.

SHOT IN THE DARK

Just how rare were the circumstances of Sunday night's victory in Pittsburgh?

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the win by the Leafs marked the first 1-0 decision in team history achieved by a penalty shot goal. Chad Kilger scored with 6:51 to play, in a game halted twice by power failures at the Mellon Arena.

The only other NHL game in history to end in similar fashion also involved the Leafs. That was Jan. 16, 1936, when Bert Connelly of the New York Rangers beat Leafs goalie George Hainsworth on a penalty shot on January 16, 1936 at Madison Square Garden.

Kilger also became the first Leaf in a decade to score a penalty shot on the road. Mats Sundin beat Arturs Irbe of the Sharks on March 15, 1995.

LOOSE LEAFS

With his 14th goal, Kilger tied his career high set in 1998-99 with the Chicago Blackhawks ... Sunday's win was the 76th for the Leafs under general manager John Ferguson, moving him one past GM turned politician Ken Dryden for seventh place in team history. Punch Imlach has the club record with 365 ... Tonight marks the 77th anniversary of the Leafs first playoff series win, a 4-1 decision over the Detroit Red Wings that completed a two-game total-goal sweep, 7-2 ... Jason Allison won 11 of 14 faceoffs against the Penguins.


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