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Leafs lifted in shootout by Schenn

by Brian Hunter
When the Toronto Maple Leafs selected Luke Schenn with the fifth pick in June’s NHL Entry Draft, it was primarily with the hope the talented young defenseman would help keep the puck out of his own net. In Monday night’s shootout with the St. Louis Blues, Schenn showed off his ability to deposit it behind the other team’s goaltender.

Schenn put a backhander past Manny Legace in the fourth round of the tiebreaker and St. Louis prospect T.J. Oshie followed by missing the net on the Blues’ final chance as the Maple Leafs escaped Air Canada Centre with a 4-3 win.

Pavel Kubina, another blueliner, prolonged the shootout for Toronto when he scored on their third attempt to answer an earlier goal by Andy McDonald. Schenn, who tallied just 12 goals in 189 games for the Kelowna Rockets, his junior team, followed with the decisive shot.

McDonald forced overtime when he scored with 8:14 in regulation, just 1:04 after Niklas Hagman had put the Leafs ahead with his second of the game. Alexander Steen also scored for Toronto, while Brad Boyes and David Backes had the other St. Louis goals.

Toronto’s Vesa Toskala (28 saves) and Legace (27 saves) went the entire way for their respective teams.

Blue Jackets 7, Blackhawks 1

Rick Nash scored two goals and added an assist, while newcomers Kristian Huselius and Fedor Tyutin also registered three-point nights as Columbus delighted the fans at Nationwide Arena with a scoring frenzy against Chicago.

Huselius signed as a free agent during the offseason after scoring 59 goals with 84 assists the past two seasons for Calgary. Tyutin was acquired in a trade with the New York Rangers that also brought fellow blueliner Christian Backman, who added a goal and an assist.

It was a bittersweet night for Raffi Torres, who scored in his first game for the Blue Jackets. It marked his return to the ice after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last Dec. 15 while playing for Edmonton, but Torres would later separate his shoulder in a fight with Chicago’s Ben Eager, and according to coach Ken Hitchcock is expected to miss six weeks.

Columbus jumped to a 6-0 lead in the third period before Petri Kontiola scored for Chicago to break up Pascal Leclaire’s shutout bid. Rostislav Klesla closed the scoring for the Blue Jackets. Leclaire finished with 22 saves.

Capitals 3, Devils 2

Brent Johnson blanked New Jersey over 40 minutes of work and Michael Nylander continued his return to form after missing half of last season after shoulder surgery with a pair of assists as Washington held on for the win at Prudential Center.

Nylander set up both goals in the second period as the Capitals jumped to a 2-0 lead. Mike Green scored the first on a power play at 3:09 and Boyd Gordon beat Devils goalie Kevin Weekes at even strength four minutes later. Alex Ovechkin had the other goal for Washington, a shorthanded tally 27 seconds into the third.

Johnson stymied the Devils with 18 saves before Zach Parise and Petr Vrana beat Jose Theodore in the final period to cut into the Capitals’ advantage. Weekes went the distance in goal, stopping 23 shots.

Coyotes 5, Sharks 1

Peter Mueller and Mikkel Boedker were a two-man wrecking crew as Phoenix routed San Jose at Arena.

Mueller scored three times during a four-goal second period and Boedker tallied twice for the Coyotes to back the goaltending tandem of Ilya Bryzagalov and Mikael Tellqvist. Bryzgalov stopped 19 shots in two periods of work and Tellqvist turned aside all nine shots he faced in the third.

Lukas Kaspar gave the Sharks a temporary 1-0 lead when he scored with 3:24 remaining in the first period.

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