Maple Leafs 3, Blues 2, SO
When Toronto’s top goalie James Reimer went down with an injury,
the Maple Leafs looked for someone to step in and pick up the
Ben Scrivens was ready, willing and able Thursday night.
Scrivens, making his third NHL start, thwarted the St. Louis
Blues on three shootout attempts and stopped 37 shots through
overtime to help the Maple Leafs snap a two-game losing streak with
a 3-2 win over the Blues.
”It’s a double-edged sword,” Scrivens said. ”They don’t know
much about me. Also, I don’t know much about them. So I just tried
to get out there and stay big and try and track the puck and force
them to beat me with a good move or a good shot.”
Phil Kessel scored the only goal in the shootout. John-Michael
Liles and Kessel scored first-period, power-play goals, and Tyler
Bozak added a pair of assists.
”A win’s a win,” Liles said. ”It’s good to get back to
winning ways. It’s a tough team over there. They battled hard and
(Scrivens) played well for us down the stretch.”
Scrivens, recalled from Toronto of the AHL on Oct. 27, came up
time and time again when the Leafs were pinned in their zone.
”I was in kind of desperation mode,” Scrivens said.
Jason Arnott and Patrik Berglund scored for St. Louis, and
Jaroslav Halak stopped 20 shots.
Toronto outshot the Blues 14-8 in the first period, but St.
Louis turned that around and had a 32-8 edge the rest of the way.
The Blues just had trouble getting pucks past Scrivens.
”I thought we did a good job of funneling pucks to the net,”
Blues winger Alex Steen said. ”We just missed our opportunities. I
had one, (Berglund) had a really good one. It ended up costing us
The Leafs took advantage of some undisciplined penalties by the
Blues in the first period, scoring on two of three power plays.
Liles scored from the right circle 11:27 into the game, taking a
pass from Dion Phaneuf and beating Halak on the stick side.
Kessel netted his NHL-leading 12th goal of the season,
deflecting Joffrey Lupul’s shot over Halak with 2:58 left in the
first on Toronto’s third power play.
”We did a lot of play with our eyes and not our legs,” Blues
coach Ken Hitchcock said. ”You can’t kill penalties if you just
play with your eyes.”
The Blues turned the tide in the second period, outshooting
Toronto 14-5 and cutting the lead in half when Arnott netted his
fourth of the season on the power play at 8:01. Arnott took a pass
from Alex Pietrangelo and sent a shot from the slot past
Scrivens had a shaky start in which he allowed quality rebounds,
but he improved as the game went on. He made key stops on Alex
Steen early in the third and David Backes midway through the period
to preserve Toronto’s 2-1 lead.
”Yeah, (Scrivens) played really well,” Maple Leafs coach Ron
Wilson said. ”Obviously, we needed that to get us at least one
point, and then we eventually won in the shootout.”
The Blues, who kept pushing in the third period, tied it when
Berglund hammered in Chris Stewart’s shot with 1:56 left. They got
some solid scoring chances in overtime, but Scrivens was up to the
challenge each time.
”Good two periods, but I think we should have had the two
points,” Steen said. ”The truth is, we walked away with one. Now
we move forward.”
NOTES: Kessel, who leads the league with 23 points, has at least
one point in 13 of 16 games. … Arnott has 16 goals and 34 points
in 39 games against Toronto. … Lupul has seven points in five
games. … Maple Leafs C Phillippe Dupuis played in his 100th NHL
game. … Wilson and Hitchcock have coached a combined 2,396 NHL
games. Wilson is the active leader at 1,353, and Hitchcock is sixth
at 1,043. Wilson is first on the wins list among active coaches
with 629. Hitchcock is fifth with 534.