Originally written on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/2/13

LONDON, ON - SEPTEMBER 17: Nazem Kadri #43 of the Toronto Maple Leafs waits for a puck drop in a pre-season game against the Philadelphia Flyers on September 17, 2009 at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario. The Leafs defeated the Flyers 4-0. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
It was only 144 seconds of potential panic this time but Nazem Kadri could not tell a lie about the thoughts drifting up and down the visitor’s bench at the Bell Centre. With a 4-2 lead late in the third period of a choppy game Tuesday night the Leafs were in danger of crashing their way into the new season the same way the previous one had ended with a thud. Lars Eller had scored his second of the game at 17:38 of the third and suddenly a cruise-control win morphed into throat-constricting crunch time. The stakes were much lower than Boston in May of course but opening night always holds its own special cache. So a big pad save by James Reimer in the final minute here and a lack of panic there and this time the Leafs escaped with a grinding 4-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Never pretty and at one point rather gruesome a third-period goal from Leafs newcomer Mason Raymond stood up as the game winner giving Toronto a fourth consecutive win over its Original Six rival. It was...
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