It was the Mikael Tellqvist show in Edmonton, as the Maple Leaf back up, appearing in his first start in five games, shut down the fast skating Edmonton Oilers. Facing 38 shots the Maple Leaf goaltender made spectacular save after save, to give his Toronto team mates a split on their venture into Alberta.
With a 1-0 loss to Calgary on their minds from Friday night, the Leafs might have been forgiven for a bit of deja vu as yet another Alberta team poured on the offense. While the Oilers were setting up camp in the Leaf end of the rink for most of the night, the Leafs offense sputtered at times putting only 19 shots on Oiler goaltender Ty Conklin. However, three of those shots made their way into the Edmonton net, and as things turned out three would be more than enough with Tellqvist in the nets.
The first in the eighth minute of play when Edmonton defender Marc-Andre Bergeron had trouble containing a play on the blue line, the puck went up to Bryan McCabe who had just exited the penalty box, his shot did not result in a goal but the rebound went to Matt Stajan who did not miss on his opportunity. He was followed onto the Leafs scoring sheet by Darcy Tucker and Chad Kilger.
Uncharacteristic give aways would be the undoing of the Oilers in this one, a missed check here, a sloppy pass there all combining to give the Leafs enough of a break to keep the Oilers off balance. The Oilers mounted a comeback with goals from Shawn Horcoff and Ryan Smyth, but in the end the stellar play of Tellqvist ruled the day for the Maple Leaf Nation.
The 3-2 win shows signs of life for the Leafs who had been having troubles prior to Christmas, with their injuries starting to heal and the close games going their way now, Maple Leaf fans are beginning to breathe again, dreams of a playoff run once again dancing through their heads.
The Leafs now take their traveling road show into BC and a match up with the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night at GM Place, bringing to an end their venture into the western territories for the year, barring a Stanley Cup appearance in May.