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article imageMaple Leafs lose 10 in row after Carter Hutton Save of the Year

By Marcus Hondro     Feb 4, 2015 in Sports
The Toronto Maple Leafs can be accused of losing in a lot of different ways, naturally most of them bad. But their 4-3 loss in Nashville tonight needed some true robbery from Predators goalie Carter Hutton for it to happen.
Nashville tops in NHL
At 33-11-6 and in first place overall in the NHL — they're 20-2-1 at home — the Preds are a formidable foe. Especially for the 22-26-4 Maple Leafs, who sit 25th in the NHL. But Mike Santorelli and Nazem Kadri and the boys played hard and at times looked good. They had the lead, 3-2 in the third period on goals by Daniel Winnik, Santorelli and Kadri.
But Mike Fisher and Colin Wilson scored in that third and Nashville took back the lead they'd had earlier. The Leafs, who have lost an incredible 18 of their last 21 games, have gone from playoff contention to Connor McDavid contention (in that regard they'll need to keep losing at this pace to back over Buffalo and Edmonton).
But despite their dire circumstances they kept working in that third period and, well, looked as if they may be headed toward a better fate. Only the save ended all that.
Hutton save came on Leafs PK
Joffrey Lupul went off for tripping at 16:40 but Toronto wound up getting a glorious chance to tie it on the penalty kill. While on the PK, Winnik managed to break in from the left side and got of a shot at the face-off circle, hitting the far post. The puck went out toward Morgan Rielly and as he skated over the blue-line he shot it at the goal.
After he hit the post Winnik did just what Don Cherry and any coach would have told him to do — he went for the net. The puck hit his body and bounced toward the empty net, looking to have beaten Hutton and tied the game. Not so fast, Hutton performed a backwards windmill and somehow got his stick on the puck and knocked it past the goal post.
That was pretty much it for the Leafs and while they might have deserved more, and likely would have gotten it had it not been for the save, Toronto was still left with yet another defeat. That tenth loss in a row ties a franchise record that goes all the way back to 1967. They get a chance to beat it on Friday night in New Jersey.
Of course the Maple Leafs of 1967 who lost ten in a row managed to regroup and went on to win the Stanley Cup. But, well...not this time.
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