TORONTO - Nicolas Deschamps wasted little time impressing his new team ? and punishing his old one.
Deschamps scored in his Toronto debut as the Marlies blanked the Syracuse Crunch 2-0 in American Hockey League action Tuesday. The 21-year-old left-winger was acquired by the Marlies' NHL parent club, the Toronto Maple Leafs, earlier Tuesday in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks.
"It was kind of weird," said Deschamps, a second-round draft pick by Anaheim in 2008. "I found out at 4 o'clock, just before the game. It was weird, and pretty exciting, too.
"The nerves kicked in a little more (playing against his old team). I just tried to keep it simple. I know all the guys over there, so it was a little harder to stay focused."
Deschamps was obtained in exchange for Luca Caputi. The 23-year-old left-winger played as a visitor in Ricoh Coliseum, the rink he had called home for most of the past two seasons.
"That's exactly what you want," said Marlies coach Dallas Eakins. "You get a new guy in like that, it's so important for him to feel good right away.
"Especially the way it happened here tonight. We send Caputi over to their side and they send (Deschamps) over and they wore each other's numbers. It was a real difficult situation for both players, but I thought Deschamps came in and played well."
Kelsey Wilson also scored as Toronto won its second consecutive game to improve to 18-12-5 and remain in first place in the AHL's North Division. Wilson also added an assist.
"I felt we got off to a sluggish start," Eakins said. "We woke up and got going after the first 12 or 13 minutes and from there I thought we had good efforts from our goalie right on up."
Toronto netminder Jussi Rynnas made 25 saves for the shutout, winning his second straight start after playing just once in the previous 11 games.
"I just love to win so much," Rynnas said. "I never (think about the shutout). If you start thinking about that, right away it???s one or two (goals against)."
Eakins liked what he saw from the Marlies backup goalie.
"This is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league," said the Toronto coach. "I think (starter Ben) Scrivens has just kind of played OK (recently) and that???s not quite good enough.
"So Jussi got back in the net last game and we went with him again tonight, and we will go with again (next game), he???s starting to run."
The Crunch dropped to 14-14-4, with Syracuse netminder Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers blocking 26 of 28 shots in a losing effort.
Wilson opened the scoring at 13:35 of the first period when he whacked in his own rebound during a goal-mouth scramble in front of Drouin-Deslauriers.
Deschamps gave Toronto a 2-0 advantage when he took a pass in the slot from Colborne and one-timed it between the Crunch goalie???s legs with 39 seconds remaining in the first period.
"That was a great play by (Colborne)," Eakins said. "He held on to the puck and held on to the puck and Deschamps got himself into a good area and bang, it???s in the net. That's a good starting point for the kid."
Toronto went 0-for-5 on the power play while Syracuse was 0-for-4.