|Sharks, Sabres enjoy success in 1st game after trade; Sundin scores 2 after staying with Leafs|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 28 February 2008 02:35|
The Toronto Maple Leafs got a boost from the guy they wanted to send packing but refused to go.
All-Star defenseman Brian Campbell had an assist in his Sharks debut Wednesday night, one day after the Sabres traded him, and helped San Jose to a 4-2 road victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Sabres didn't miss him, at least on this night, as Steve Bernier - the player they pried away from the Sharks in the deal - scored goals on his first two shots and added an assist to lift Buffalo to an 8-4 win at home against the Nashville Predators.
And what about the Leafs? They were hamstrung by several players who refused to waive no-trade clauses. The biggest was captain Mats Sundin, who decided to stay with the struggling franchise instead of being a hired gun.
He showed he was happy to be in a familiar environment when he scored twice at Florida, forcing overtime with the second and giving Toronto the opportunity to pull out a 4-3 shootout win over the Panthers.
``He's the man here, and he's always been,'' said defenseman Tomas Kaberle, who also invoked his no-trade privileges and scored the only goal of the shootout. ``Everybody follows him and tries to play like him.''
In other NHL games, it was Minnesota 3, Tampa Bay 2; Chicago 1, Phoenix 0; and Colorado 3, Vancouver 2, in a shootout.
Bernier snapped a 12-game goal drought, the longest of his NHL career, and enjoyed his fifth multigoal game.
``When your confidence is not where you want it to be and the first shot you make you score, it helps,'' said Bernier, labeled an underachiever during three seasons with the Sharks. ``I'm glad everything went the way I wanted everything to go. ... Yeah, it's a good start, but nothing is done yet.''
Campbell fit in well right away with the Sharks, too. After setting up a goal for his new team, he packed away his equipment - in his old Sabres bag.
``I had fun out there tonight. It was nice. I'm always looking for the puck. I thought we worked it pretty good,'' Campbell said. ``I'm just kind of sitting back a little and reading plays and seeing what I can and can't do in the system here.''
Buffalo's Ryan Miller stopped 24 shots to earn his 29th victory despite missing 8 minutes of the second period after having his nose bloodied by Marek Zidlicky's shot that hit him on the mask.
Toni Lydman had a career-high four assists, Ales Kotalik had a goal and two assists, and Derek Roy, Daniel Paille, Jason Pominville, Tim Connolly and Andrew Peters also scored.
Jason Arnott scored twice for the Predators, 0-2-1 in their past three games.
Jonathan Cheechoo ran his goal streak to four games, Joe Pavelski had a goal and an assist, and Torrey Mitchell and Jeremy Roenick also scored for the Sharks, who won their third in a row and improved to 20-8-3 on the road. Joe Thornton added two assists, and Evgeni Nabokov had 17 saves.
David Vyborny ended a 24-game goal drought by scoring twice for Columbus.
Sundin's second goal with 1:08 left in regulation forced overtime, and set up the Maple Leafs' shootout success.
Kaberle scored the only goal of the tiebreaker, and Toronto's Vesa Toskala sealed the victory when he blocked Olli Jokinen's wrist shot.
Jeremy Williams had the other goal for the Leafs, who have won five of six.
Jassen Cullimore, Brett McLean and Rostislav Olesz scored for Florida, which has lost five of six.
Wild 3, Lightning 2
At Tampa, Fla., Pierre-Marc Bouchard had two assists to lead Minnesota past the host Lightning.
Todd Fedoruk, Pavol Demitra and Brian Rolston scored for the Wild, who snapped a four-game losing streak.
Michel Ouellet and Jeff Halpern found the net for the Lightning, who are last in the Eastern Conference and have lost five straight.
Blackhawks 1, Coyotes 0
At Chicago, Patrick Lalime made 32 saves for his first shutout in more than a year, and Jason Williams scored the lone goal for the Blackhawks at home.
Lalime wasn't tested heavily in posting his first shutout since Feb. 7, 2007, and the 35th of his NHL career. He started his third straight game for Chicago because No. 1 goalie Nikolai Khabibulin remained sidelined because of back spasms.
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 24 shots for Phoenix. He made several tough saves early before Williams scored 7:58 into the game.
Avalanche 3, Canucks 2, SO
At Vancouver, British Columbia, Joe Sakic tied the game with 14.7 seconds left, and Marek Svatos scored the winning goal in the shootout, lifting Colorado over the host Canucks.
Alexandre Burrows scored on a wild scramble with 1:45 left in the third period to give Vancouver a 2-1 lead, but Sakic knocked in a rebound in the closing seconds after Jose Theodore was pulled for an extra attacker.
Sakic, playing his third game after missing three months following sports hernia surgery, also beat Roberto Luongo in the shootout before Svatos won it.
Andrew Brunette also scored and Theodore made 29 saves as Colorado won for the second straight night to move into a tie with Nashville for eighth place in the Western Conference, one point behind the Canucks.