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Valiquette leads Rangers to 1-0 SO win @NHLdotcom

Steve Valiquette took full advantage of a rare start at Madison Square Garden - at the expense of his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs.

Starting in place of Henrik Lundqvist, New York's backup goalie led the Rangers to a 1-0 shootout victory over the Maple Leafs on Friday night.

"I really want to feel as comfortable as possible in this rink," Valiquette said. "I know that my job and my role on the team is to be ready at all times. I have to add value to the team, no matter if I'm starting or I'm supporting."

Valiquette, 2-0 this season, outdueled Toronto's Vesa Toskala.

"I made some good saves and sometimes you need a little luck," said Toskala, who made 32 saves - 11 more than Valiquette - for his 12th career shutout. "Sometimes they stay out and sometimes everything goes in. That's the life of a goalie."

In other NHL games Friday night, it was: Buffalo 5, Vancouver 2; Columbus 5, Nashville 3; Anaheim 4, San Jose 0; Edmonton 4, Calgary 3; Ottawa 6, Phoenix 3; and Los Angeles 4, Carolina 3 in overtime.

Nikolai Zherdev opened the shootout with a goal for the Rangers, Nikolai Kulemin tied it in the second round and New York's Fredrik Sjostrom made it 2-1 in the third. Valiquette then completed his third NHL shutout when Jason Blake hit the post.

New York rebounded from a 3-1 loss to Buffalo on Wednesday night to improve to 6-1. Toronto is 0-1-2 since an opening victory over Stanley Cup champion Detroit.

Three of Valiquette's 11 career NHL victories have come against the Maple Leafs, including a shootout win last season. He skated off as the first star of the game to chants of "Vall-ey! Vall-ey!"

"It gave me goose bumps. Now I know how Henrik feels," Valiquette said.

It was the first time the Rangers and Maple Leafs were scoreless against each other through regulation since Dec. 8, 1956.

At Buffalo, N.Y., Thomas Vanek scored his NHL-leading sixth goal and added two assists, and Ales Kotalik scored twice to help Buffalo improve to 4-0.

Jaroslav Spacek had a goal and assist, Clarke MacArthur also scored and Ryan Miller finished with 23 saves. Ryan Kesler and Steve Bernier scored for the Canucks, coming off an overtime victory over Detroit on Thursday night.

At Columbus, Ohio, Rick Nash had two goals and rookies Nikita Filatov and Jake Voracek added goals in a Columbus-record span of 8 seconds.

The victory ended Nashville's string of 16 consecutive games with a point against Columbus (15-0-1). It was the longest active streak in an NHL regular-season series.

The 18-year-old Filatov, playing his first NHL game, and Voracek scored 8 seconds apart in the opening period. Jason Chimera also scored for Columbus.

Blue Jackets goalie Pascal Leclaire left with about 5 minutes left after bruising his left thumb. He won't play Saturday night when the teams meet again in Nashville.

Nashville's Greg de Vries and Scott Nichol scored in an 11-second span in the second period. J.P. Dumont added a goal.

At Anaheim, Calif., Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 38 saves for his 30th career shutout and Anaheim's first victory of the season.

Francois Beauchemin, Travis Moen, Chris Pronger and Samuel Pahlsson scored. Rob Niedermayer had two assists and Anaheim killed seven penalties.

The victory allowed the Ducks (1-4) to avoid the worst start in franchise history. Anaheim started the 2003-04 season with four regulation losses and an overtime setback, earning a single point in their opening five games.

At Calgary, Alberta, Erik Cole, Lubomir Visnovsky and Robert Nilsson scored power-play goals in the second period for Edmonton.

Andrew Cogliano also scored, and Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers made 26 saves in his first NHL start to help the Oilers improve to 3-0. Adrian Aucoin, David Moss and Todd Bertuzzi scored for Calgary.

At Ottawa, Jason Spezza had two goals and two assists, Jarko Ruutu also scored twice and Martin Gerber made 34 saves for Ottawa.

Dany Heatley and Anton Volchenkov added goals for the Senators. Daniel Alfredsson had two assists in his first game since having knee surgery a week ago.

Shane Doan, Enver Lisin and Mikkel Boedker had third-period goals for Phoenix.

At Los Angeles, Michal Handzus scored 56 seconds into the game and again at 3:21 of overtime, leading Los Angeles past Carolina.

Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar scored their first goals of the season to help the Kings erase a two-goal deficit. Ryan Bayda, Dan LaCouture and Matt Cullen scored for the Hurricanes.

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