Maple Leafs 4, Stars 3, SO

As good as Toronto goaltender Jonas Gustavsson was good in the

shootout, he felt he got a bit lucky.

Gustavsson denied Dallas’ Mike Ribeiro in the third round after

Joffrey Lupul scored in the same round to give the Maple Leafs a

4-3 victory over the Stars on Friday night.

Lupul fired a shot through the pads of Stars goaltender Kari

Lehtonen for Lupul’s second shootout goal in as many tries this

season. Then Gustavsson had to back into his net to deny Ribeiro

after a nifty move to secure the extra point for the Leafs.

”I tried not to be too far out,” said Gustavsson, who stopped

26 shots in regulation and overtime. ”I knew you’ve got to get

deep or he’d tap it in.”

Gustavsson also got a break in the second round when a shot by

Dallas’ Jamie Benn rang off the goalpost.

Lupul registered his second shootout goal in two tries this

season.

”It was a good win for us,” Lupul said. ”We didn’t play that

well in the second period, we let them back in the game, but we

played really well in the third period and it was a hard-fought

game right to the end. Tonight it took an effort from everyone, but

we got it done.”

Clarke MacArthur had given Toronto a 3-2 lead at 6:55 of the

third period.

Tim Connelly slid a pass from the right boards toward the net

while MacArthur barreled up the middle of the ice. MacArthur

deposited his eighth goal of the season past Lehtonen on Toronto’s

first shot of the final period.

But Radek Dvorak pulled Dallas even at 3 at 12:47 of the third,

notching his second of the season from low in the right circle.

Leafs captain Dion Pfaneuf added a power-play goal and teammate

Joey Crabb connected at even strength.

”It’s a big two points for our team coming in here,” Pfaneuf

said. ”I thought they played really well. They’re a real

hardworking team. They’re where they’re at in the standings in the

West for a reason, so we knew it would be a big test for us. I

thought we really stuck to it for the full 65 minutes and the

shootout to pull out two really big points.”

Eric Nystrom scored twice and Lehtonen stopped 20 shots.

The game drew a sellout crowd of 18,532, the first sellout for

the Stars this season, with the help of a vocal contingent of Maple

Leaf fans.

Nystrom gave the Stars the lead when he beat Gustavsson on a

wrist shot from the slot at 4:03 of the opening period.

The Leafs tied it at 1 at 10:55 of the first on Crabb’s

deflection, his fourth goal of the season.

Phaneuf’s power-play goal – his third of the season – sent

Toronto ahead at 14:53 of the first on a slap shot that dribbled

through Lehtonen’s pads and over the goal line.

Nystrom drew Dallas even at 2 at 4:38 of the second period with

his sixth goal of the season, converting Dvorak’s goal-mouth pass

for Nystrom’s third career two-goal game.

Nystrom, acquired from Minnesota in a trade on Oct. 12, had only

four goals in 82 games for the Wild last season. The Stars traded

for him because they needed his salary to reach the cap minimum,

but they’ve found that he can be a force on the third and fourth

lines.

”I was passed over by 29 teams twice, so I’ve kind of got a

chip on my shoulder against the world,” Nystrom said. ”I’m just

trying to prove to myself and everybody that I can be a powerful

player in this league and my linemates have been awesome, the

team’s been playing well and I’m just so happy to be a part of this

organization.”

NOTES: Toronto D Carl Gunnarsson and C David Steckel both left

with undisclosed injuries in the second period and did not return.

… Leafs G James Reimer has returned to practice, the next step in

his recovery from concussion-like symptoms, and is expected to be

activated within the next 10 days. … Stars LW and captain Brenden

Morrow (multiple minor injuries) missed his second straight game

and is day to day. He’s expected to return next week. … This was

the only meeting between the teams this season. Last season the

teams played their only game in Toronto, a 4-1 win for the Maple

Leafs. … A group of Toronto players and staff attended Thursday’s

Miami-Dallas NFL game in a luxury suite at Cowboys Stadium. …

Dallas is at Phoenix on Saturday. Toronto ends a four-game trip

against Anaheim on Sunday.