TORONTO -- Already exhausted following a long road trip and playing the second half of back-to-back games, the last thing the Toronto Maple Leafs was another emotional pitfall. Coach Randy Carlyle had already caused a stir in Detroit a night earlier by calling James Reimers play in a loss "just OK," and then the goaltender gave up a goal on the first shot he faced Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Unfortunately for the Leafs, that was just the beginning of a long game as defenceman Paul Ranger was injured and Steven Stamkos rang up a hat trick to hand them a 5-3 loss at Air Canada Centre, their third in a row. Even after the club released an update saying Ranger was "stable, conscious and alert" after his head hit the glass on a hit from Alex Killorn and he was taken to a local hospital, there were plenty of worried teammates in the home locker-room after a defeat that dropped the Leafs three points behind the Lightning in the Atlantic Division. With that came a notion of missing an opportunity to make something out of the impossibly difficult situation of seeing Ranger go down. "You try to use that as motivation to go out there and give yourself the best opportunity to get a chance and try to use the player, Range, get it for him," Carlyle said. "And we fell short, for sure." Against the Lightning (38-24-7), falling short meant starting terribly with a goal against 59 seconds in, taking too many penalties and giving Stamkos far too much room to operate. But Killorns hit on Ranger understandably took the lions share of the attention. Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper called it "probably the turning point in the game" as his team killed off the five-minute major, while the Leafs (36-27-8) just struggled to pick their game up after watching him get wheeled off the ice on a stretcher. "We say our jobs to get ready and prepare for the next period, but thats scary," winger Joffrey Lupul said. "He obviously didnt look great when he was leaving the ice. So youre trying to clear your head and focus on the next period. But you cant lie -- obviously part of you is wondering whats going on with him." When Ranger went down, the Leafs were trailing 3-2 after Radko Gudas beat Reimer in the games first minute with a seemingly innocent shot from just inside the blue-line. Reimer didnt see the shot, and long after his Leafs came back to take the lead on goals by Phil Kessel and Nikolai Kulemin, Carlyle didnt blame his goalie for that one. "The first goals kind of (a) fluke," Carlyle said. "What do you do? Its a seeing-eye shot, theres a screen, it hits a post and goes in. So you cant get too unravelled by that." Reimer, who gave up five goals on 30 shots, didnt unravel, but a lack of discipline and the Leafs defence was to blame for Stamkos scoring twice in the first period and then completing the hat trick early in the second. An interference penalty on David Clarkson led to the first goal, and there were missed assignments on all three. For Stamkos, who was playing in just his seventh game since returning from a four-month absence after breaking his right leg, called getting the natural hat trick in front of family and friends the highlight of his season. "I was a little disappointed there was no hats on the ice," the Markham, Ont., native said. "I guess Ill take it anyway." Though he couldnt be blamed for any of the three goals Stamkos scored, Reimer couldnt take many positives out of his performance. Because Jonathan Bernier remains out with a groin injury, Reimer became the first Toronto goalie to start on back-to-back days this season, and this wasnt the result he wanted when thrust into that situation. "I just want to come out and play well and kind of be a difference-maker, and unfortunately it wasnt the case," Reimer said. "I thought I made some good saves, but it definitely wasnt the performance I was looking for. I wanted to come out and be big and keep your team in it, and that didnt happen tonight." Reimers failings, notably on the first goal, paled in comparison to the other drama and blunders that tormented the Leafs against the Lightning. Six minor penalties led to two power-play goals by the Lightning -- the first by Stamkos and the second one in the third from linemate Tyler Johnson -- which wound up being enough to make the difference. "A lot of things come down to special teams," Cooper said. "Weve had our ups and downs all year. For us to kill off all those penalties, especially the five minutes and then get two power-play goals. Thats how youre going to win. Thats how youre going to win down the stretch and get into the playoffs." With the victory, the Lightning, who got 36 saves on 39 shots from Vezina Trophy candidate Ben Bishop, moved ahead of the Montreal Canadiens for second place in the Atlantic Division. The Leafs, who at 71 games have played the most of any team in the Eastern Conference, held onto the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference but lost a major opportunity to pick up points. Reimer lamented not doing that more than being unable to cover up the fire storm that surrounded him. "It doesnt really matter how you play or how people talk about how you play as long as you get points," he said. "As tough as things go or as good as things go, you can play a great game and still lose. The big thing is points, so as far as statement games or whatnot, I think really at this time of year its just about your team and about getting your team points, not necessarily about you making a statement." Stamkos, who scored his three goals on his only three shots of the night, made a statement that hes back and capable of carrying the Lightning. Cooper was looking forward to seeing how the 24-year-old would fare in his "backyard," and he didnt disappoint. "Theres special players out there that find a way, they have that innate ability to rise to the occasion," Cooper said. "For Stammer to come back in here to his hometown and do what he did tonight, basically put the team on his shoulders, I cant say enough about (him)." And the Leafs couldnt say enough about how things went wrong, especially when it came to not containing one of the leagues best in Stamkos. "We were getting exposed," Lupul said. "There were times today where we were good, other times we made some errors getting the puck out of our zone, once by me and then a couple times we let their best player get the puck in an area where we cant do that." And then there was a lack of desperation early on that only came in the second half of the game and showed up when Jake Gardiner cut the deficit to one with 12:40 left. Giving half of what was necessary was not enough. "I felt that our desperation level went up for the last 30 minutes of the game," Carlyle said. "Weve got to do a better job than that." NOTES -- Kessels goal was his 35th of the season, two short of his career high. ... Gardiners goal was his fifth in the past seven games and 10th of the season. ... Killorn was given a game misconduct along with the five-minute major for boarding Ranger, whom the Leafs said was taken to a hospital for a "precautionary assessment." ... Toronto goaltender Jonathan Bernier skated Wednesday morning for the first time since suffering a groin injury almost a week earlier in Los Angeles. Carlyle said Bernier was "coming along" and he expected the injured netminder to take shots during practice Friday. Sheldon Richardson Jersey
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. Gorges is believed to have suffered the injury while blocking a shot with a hand during Montreals win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. The Canadiens added to their defensive depth this week by acquiring veteran Mike Weaver from the Florida Panthers. SAN FRANCISCO -- Ehire Adrianza became the latest pinch-runner in the majors to make a decisive dash. Adrianza scored the winning run in his big league debut, speeding home Sunday on Angel Pagans single in the 11th inning to lift the San Francisco Giants over the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2. In a week that saw Cincinnatis Billy Hamilton and Bostons Quintin Berry score key runs as pinch-runners, Adrianza did his part. "That was so exciting," Adrianza said. "I have been waiting for this moment since I was 3 years old. It was pretty amazing and it feels great. As a pinch-runner it was an honour to win a game like that." Adrianza has been a minor league shortstop in the Giants system since he was 16 in 2006. Hector Sanchez hit a leadoff single in the 11th against Joe Thatcher (3-2). Adrianza moved up when Gregor Blanco reached safely on a sacrifice bunt and beat the throw home on Pagans single. Javier Lopez (3-2) got the win. Sanchez also drove in a run for the Giants, who split the series with Arizona. "I just tried to put the ball in play and took advantage of the hole," Sanchez said. "I feel great right now. Im comfortable swinging. I feel amazing." Eric Chavez and A.J. Pollack each drove in runs for the Diamondbacks. "We have not swung the bats very well at all, especially in the good situations," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "Were not in a good streak right now." Gibson was ejected in the 10th for arguing after first base umpire Tom Hallion reversed his original call. The Diamondbacks had runners at first and second with two outs when Aaron Hill grounded to first baseman Buster Posey. After bobbling the ball, Posey flipped to pitcher George Kontos covering the bag. Hallion called Hill safe, then consulted with the other umpires and ruled him out. Giants starter Madison Bumgarner threw six shutout innings, allowing four hits. He struck out nine and did not walk a batter. Bumgarner remaiins winless over his last seven starts.dddddddddddd "It doesnt matter if I get the win or not, thats out of our control," Bumgarner said. "All the starters are trying to do is compete, eat up some innings and keep us in it." Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley went seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out three. Joaquin Arias singled to lead off the eighth for the Giants and went to second on Tony Abreus sacrifice bunt. He was left there. Matt Davidson walked to lead off the ninth for the Diamondbacks but pinch-runner Tony Campana was caught stealing. Miguel Montero followed with a single but was stranded. Miley retired nine of the first 10 hitters before running into trouble in the fourth. Tony Abreu walked and Posey doubled to open the inning. One out later, Sanchez bumped a single into right field to score one run and Posey later scored on a wild pitch. The Diamondbacks scored twice in the eighth against Santiago Casilla, Chavez hit a sacrifice fly and Pollack had an RBI single. NOTES: OF Hunter Pence needs a home run to become the first Giants player to record at least 20 home runs and 20 steals in a season since Barry Bonds in 1998. ... The Giants sold out their 237th regular season home game, doing it while the San Francisco 49ers hosting the Green Bay Packers in their regular-season opener. ... RHP Tim Lincecum (9-13, 4.50) makes the start for the Giants on Monday night when Colorado arrives to open a three-game set. Hes 0-2 with an 8.00 ERA against the Rockies this year. ... The Diamondbacks will start RHP Randall Delgado (4-5, 3.69) in their series opener against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Monday. Hes allowed three earned runs or less in 12 of his 15 career starts. ... Arizona IF Martin Prado missed his second straight game with an illness. ... Diamondbacks INF Cliff Pennington returned to Arizona after the game to be with his wife, who will undergo induced labour on Monday. Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Wholesale Discount Basketball Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys Authentic Cheap Baseball Jerseys Free Shipping Cheapest College Jerseys Sale Cheap Football Jerseys China Nike NFL Jerseys Canada Wholesale NHL Jerseys From China MLB Jerseys Outlet Canada Wholesale NBA Jerseys Canada Store Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Cheap Authentic Jerseys Canada
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