Giguere second Leafs goalie to record shutout in debut, Toronto wins 3-0
TORONTO (CP) — By the end of the first period of his first game, Dion Phaneuf had landed a hit, a fighting major and an ovation. Had he managed anything more, fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs might well have elected him mayor, had they not already acclaimed his general manager for acquiring the big defenceman in a weekend trade.
Brian Burke’s team had a good night Tuesday, as Phaneuf and his new teammates rolled over the New Jersey Devils 3-0 to snap a six-game winless streak. The Leafs beat their Eastern Conference rivals thanks in large part to the energy provided by Phaneuf, new forward Fredrik Sjostrom and goaltender JeanSebastien Giguere.
Giguere finished with 30 saves, becoming only the second goaltender in team history to record a shutout in his debut. Ed Belfour was the first, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-0 on Oct. 10, 2002.
Burke acquired Phaneuf and Sjostrom from the Calgary Flames on Sunday, sending longtime Maple Leaf Matt Stajan to Alberta with forwards Niklas Hagman and Jamal Mayers and defenceman Ian White. Burke then landed Giguere from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for underperforming winger Jason Blake and underwhelming goaltender Vesa Toskala.
The team got off to another quick start on Tuesday, helped in no small part by one of the players acquired over the weekend. Forward Nikolai Kulemin gave the Leafs a 1-0 lead when he buried a Sjostrom rebound behind New Jersey goaltender Yann Danis.
Phaneuf gave the crowd its second thrill of the game when he fought Devils defenceman Colin White. Air Canada Centre roared as Phaneuf skated to the box, chewing on his mouth guard as the beleaguered fan base’s new favourite.
Phil Kessel gave the home side a 2-0 lead two minutes into the second when he popped an inviting rebound past a helpless Danis. Toronto made it 3-0 when Francois Beauchemin collected a pass in his skates and ripped a shot through Danis from the blue-line.
Canadiens 3, Canucks 2
MONTREAL (CP) — Tomas Plekanec scored the game-winner in the third and Jaroslav Halak made 44 saves as the Montreal Canadiens ended the Vancouver Canucks’ seven-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory on Tuesday night.
Sergei Kostitsyn and Maxim Lapierre scored in the first period for Montreal (26-25-6), which ended a three-game winless run.
Mikael Samuelsson and Ryan Kesler each scored a power-play goal for the Canucks (34-19-2). Vancouver had scored only once on its previous 18 chances.
Capitals 4, Bruins 1
BOSTON (AP) — The Washington Capitals set a franchise record with their 11th straight win and sent the Boston Bruins to their eighth consecutive loss as Brooks Laich broke a tie early in the third period of a 4-1 win Tuesday night.
The NHL’s highest-scoring team trailed the league’s lowest-scoring team after one period but came out aggressively in the second and tied the game on Mike Knuble’s goal at 2:04.
Laich then scored at 5:04 of the third, Boyd Gordon connected less than three minutes later and Alex Ovechkin added an emptynet goal at 19:28 against the Bruins, who are 0-6-2 in their past eight games.
The Capitals broke the club record set from Jan. 27-Feb. 18, 1984 and have the NHL’s longest winning streak since the San Jose Sharks also won 11 in a row from Feb. 21-March 14, 2008.
Lightning 2, Thrashers 1
ATLANTA (AP) — Antero Niittymaki stopped 26 shots for his 16th straight win over Atlanta and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Thrashers 2-1 on Tuesday night for a rare road victory.
Stephane Veilleux and Martin St. Louis scored first-period goals and Niittymaki protected the lead, giving up only a second-period goal to Todd White.
Thrashers star Ilya Kovalchuk broke his stick in frustration at the end of the game.