Giguere sec­ond Leafs goalie to record shutout in de­but, Toronto wins 3-0

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

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.

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