Leaf fall to Sharks, Flyers shade Devils
TORONTO (CP) — Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere will try to pay attention to the Olympic hockey tournament when it begins in Vancouver, but he admitted he might not try very hard, saying before Monday night’s game that he planned “to watch it from the pool there in Mexico — if they have it.”
He did not have to go very far for a free preview, as it turned out, facing eight Olympic-bound players when the San Jose Sharks took to the Air Canada Centre ice. Giguere was beaten for the first time as a member of the Leafs, falling 3-2 in a hard-fought game against the topranked team in the Western Conference.
Ryane Clowe scored the game winner for the Sharks with less than seven minutes to play in the third period. Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist for the Leafs, who nearly tied the game with a flourish in the final minute of regulation.
Toronto management had to scramble to fill out its roster before the game with word that two regular forwards had fallen ill. Centre Christian Hanson and winger Fredrik Sjostrom were both scratched with what was alternately reported to be either the flu or food poisoning, and with the Toronto Marlies playing the same night in Abbotsford, B.C., a full menu of AHL help was not available.
The Leafs looked instead to Nazem Kadri, their 19-year-old first-round draft pick playing with the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League. Kadri, selected seventh overall last spring, arrived in Toronto on an emergency basis, having collected 26 goals and 66 points in 42 games with the Knights this season.
He made his NHL debut on the very first shift of the game, facing off against gigantic Joe Thornton. Kadri took a regular shift through the first two periods, heading into the second intermission with more than 10 minutes of NHL ice time under his belt.
Flyers 3, Devils 2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Mike Richards scored the go-ahead goal with less than eight minutes left in the third period, leading the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Monday night.
Richards pushed Kimmo Timonen’s pass from behind the goal past Martin Brodeur, and Flyers goalie Michael Leighton made that stand up. James van Riemsdyk and Jeff Carter also scored to help the Flyers rally from a 2-0 deficit and snap a twogame losing streak.
Zach Parise and Anssi Salmela scored for the Devils, who have lost 10 of 14.
Salmela left the ice on a stretcher after scoring when he took a hard shoulder to the face from Carter. There was no immediate word on his condition.
Moments after his short-handed goal, a wrister past Leighton’s glove side that gave New Jersey a 2-0 lead, Salmela was struck by Carter as he skated by. Salmela tumbled to the ice and remained face down for several minutes, until the Devils medical staff wheeled him off.
With the Devils ahead 2-0, Brodeur allowed goals to van Riemsdyk and Carter 1:12 apart late in the second period. Van Riemsdyk scored at 18:24 when he split two defenders and wristed a shot past Brodeur’s glove side from just above the faceoff circle. Carter followed by taking Scott Hartnell’s cross-ice pass and slammed a one-timer past a tumbling Brodeur.
Parise scored New Jersey’s first goal when his attempt to centre the puck from just below the faceoff circle glanced off Chris Pronger’s skate and past Leighton. It came during a power play seven minutes into the game.
NOTES: Flyers goalie Ray Emery missed his third straight game with tightness in his hip. ... Van Riemsdyk’s goal was his first in eight games.