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Leafs lose in ‘probably the best game we’ve played’

Los Angeles Kings v Toronto Maple Leafs

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 11: Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings battles against James van Riemsdyk #21 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on December 11, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Claus Andersen

The Toronto Maple Leafs outshot their opponents Wednesday, bucking a trend that’s developed over most nights, and still lost.

The Leafs outshot the visiting L.A. Kings by a whopping 39-23 margin but managed to get only one puck past Martin Jones in a 3-1 loss.

Jones, 23, is now a perfect 4-0-0 to begin his National Hockey League career. He’s also got two shutouts.

Cody Franson’s power play goal at 14:30 of the second period ended Jones’ shutout streak at 177 minutes and 16 seconds, according to Helene Elliott of the L.A. Times.

The Leafs looked good throughout most of the game, but allowed two goals - Jeff Carter and Kyle Clifford - in the third period, cementing the loss.

But the Leafs’ players were trying to focus on the positives, despite the result.

“You can take positives from it (and) we have to. That was one of the best games we played in awhile & we can all hang our hat on that,” said Toronto forward Mason Raymond, as per Mark Masters of TSN.

“Probably the best game we’ve played so far ... We did a lot of things we can build on,” added Franson.

Goalie Jonathan Bernier, facing his old L.A. teammates as a member of the Maple Leafs, gave up three goals on 23 shots and was critical of himself afterwards, telling reporters his team “deserved a better fate.”

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