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Roundup: Reimer leads Maple Leafs past Red Wings

Sunday, 09.29.2013 / 1:18 AM / Roundup

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Roundup: Reimer leads Maple Leafs past Red Wings
NHL.com recaps the preseason action from Saturday, September 28, including the Toronto Maple Leafs' 3-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings.

James Reimer isn't making the decision about a starting goaltender easy for Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle.

Reimer, who led the Maple Leafs into the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season for the first time since 2004, is battling offseason acquisition Jonathan Bernier for the starting job. He didn't hurt his chances Saturday night by making 24 saves in a 3-1 victory against the Detroit Red Wings at Air Canada Centre.

"I tried to prove myself every day in practice and preparing myself and taking care of myself off the ice," Reimer said. "I feel like I've done the best that I can, and now it's up to Randy."

Josh Leivo scored twice and John-Michael Liles had the other goal for the Maple Leafs, who visit the Montreal Canadiens in their season-opener on Tuesday night.

"I think both of our goalies have played well," Carlyle said when asked about a starter. "I think that's probably to be our toughest decision."

Mitch Callahan had a third-period goal for the Red Wings, who open their season at home against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.

Florida Panthers 5, Tampa Bay Lightning 3

The best news for the Panthers wasn't that Tim Thomas was able to go all the way in his second NHL appearance since April 2012; it was that Kris Versteeg scored twice and added an assist in his second game back after knee surgery.

"It always feels nice to score," Versteeg said, "but that first one -- you work awfully hard in seven months of rehab to get that feeling again. It feels pretty good, but the win feels better."

Thomas, who signed with the Panthers on Thursday after spending time with the team during training camp on a professional tryout contract, stopped 19 of 22 shots.

Versteeg, who was lost for the season in March and wasn't cleared to play again until Thursday, scored the go-ahead goal with 8:38 remaining in regulation and hit the empty net with a minute to play. Brad Boyes, who signed a contract with the Panthers earlier in the day, Scott Gomez and Jesse Winchester also scored for Florida.

The only bad news for Florida was that center Marcel Goc and defenseman Erik Gudbranson both left the game with upper-body injuries. Goc was hit in the face by a puck; Gudbranson left late in the second period after being driven into the boards by Tampa Bay's Richard Panik, who was assessed a major penalty for boarding. The Panthers said both were kept out of the remainder of the game as a precaution.

Steven Stamkos and Brett Connolly scored in the first 7:41 to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead. Martin St. Louis' goal 2:02 into the third period tied the game at 3-3.

"We had a really good first period, and then we saw a really bad second two, so that was a little bit troubling," coach Jon Cooper said.

Both teams open the regular season Thursday night on the road: Florida visits the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay is at the Boston Bruins.

Chicago Blackhawks 4, Washington Capitals 3 (OT)

Andrew Shaw's goal 1:47 into overtime gave the Blackhawks the victory in a meeting between two teams that will see each other again Tuesday night -- for real.

Defenseman Nick Leddy scored twice and assisted on a goal by Jimmy Hayes as the Blackhawks took three one-goal leads, only to see the Alex Ovechkin-less Capitals pull even each time. Mikhail Grabovski and Marcus Johansson scored in the second period for Washington and Joel Ward forced overtime when he beat Nikolai Khabibulin with 5:01 remaining in regulation.

The Blackhawks have been trying to get Leddy to shoot more. Saturday's performance might help the coaching staff get through to the 22-year-old.

"Just shooting the puck always creates offense; whether it goes in or it creates a chance for someone else," Leddy said.

Washington, which ended the preseason with a 4-0-4 record, didn't have Ovechkin; he was in Greece carrying the Olympic torch. But he'll be back with the Capitals on Sunday and will be wearing his familiar No. 8 when they take the ice at the United Center on Tuesday night (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

"Even when they played us at home, they're a fast team. They're a very good team. They're Stanley Cup champs," Washington coach Adam Oates said. "They're a very good hockey team. We respect them. We didn't play our best tonight and we still got the overtime, so there has to be some silver lining in there."

Other than having trouble holding leads, the Blackhawks looked like a team ready to defend its Stanley Cup; they outshot Washington 37-15 and went 38-24 (61 percent) in the faceoff circle as they finished the preseason with a 4-0-2 record.

San Jose Sharks 6, Anaheim Ducks 5

Dan Boyle scored his second power-play goal of the game at 7:36 of the third period, enabling the visiting Sharks to hang on for a victory at Honda Center as both teams wrapped up their preseason schedule.

The Sharks trailed 2-1 in the first period before running off four unanswered goals, the last a power-play goal by Boyle 5:31 into the second period. Kyle Palmieri and Dustin Penner scored 14 seconds apart early in the third for Anaheim. But Boyle scored his second of the night 31 seconds after Penner's goal to make it 6-4. Saku Koivu cut the margin to one goal when he beat Antti Niemi with 2:47 left in regulation.

Tommy Wingels had three assists for San Jose, which finished the preseason with a 4-1-1 record. The Sharks open their season in San Jose on Thursday night against the Vancouver Canucks.

Daniel Winnik and Andrew Cogliano also scored for Anaheim. Jonas Hiller made 33 saves for the Ducks, who were outshot 39-18 and lost their final three preseason games. Anaheim opens its season on the road Wednesday night against the Colorado Avalanche.

"We'll get our confidence back, have a few good days of practice," Hiller said. "It's 0-0 come Wednesday."

Colorado Avalanche 3, Los Angeles Kings 2

Gabriel Landeskog had two goals as Colorado scored three times in a span of less than eight minutes in the second period to beat the Kings in their annual Frozen Fury showdown in Las Vegas.

All three Colorado goals came on rebounds. Ryan O'Reilly backhanded home the rebound of Steve Downie's shot at 8:11. Landeskog tied it at 12:58 and knocked the rebound of Andre Benoit's shot past Mathieu Garon for a power-play goal at 16:06.

Mike Richards gave the Kings a 2-0 lead with a pair of power-play goals against Jean-Sebastien Giguere. L.A. got a scare when defenseman Willie Mitchell, who missed all of last season due to a knee injury that required surgery, turned awkwardly late in the third period and struggled through his last couple of shifts. But coach Darryl Sutter said afterwards that it wasn't a major issue.

"Blocked a shot. No big deal," he said. "It was the only shot we blocked tonight."

The Kings open their season Thursday night on the road against the Minnesota Wild. Colorado hosts the Anaheim Ducks in its opener Wednesday night.

Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres