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

slack.

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 game.”

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.

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.