Swedish rookie netminder Jonas Gustavsson posted his first NHL shutout to guide the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 2-0 win over the struggling Boston Bruins on Saturday.
Gustavsson, making his first start in 16 days after a surgical procedure for an abnormal heart rate, made 25 saves to help the Leafs, the Northeast Division’s bottom team, hand the Bruins their fourth consecutive loss.
“It’s pretty big for me, the first shutout, but in the end we won and that’s what counts,” Gustavsson, who received a standing ovation after the game, told reporters. “I can’t say if it [the heart rate] will be fine all the time, but I feel fine and it’s important that we got the win.”
“It wasn’t what I was expecting,” the 24-year-old said of his two surgeries, “but you have to stay positive and make the most of those situations.”
Tomas Kaberle and Jason Blake scored for the Leafs, who ended a two-game losing streak.
“It was a huge boost for us — he played well and deserved the shutout,” said Kaberle, who scored Toronto’s first goal 2:24 into the second period.
Blake’s goal, his seventh of the season, came in the third.
Boston goalie Tuukka Rask, who had beaten Toronto twice, wound up with 29 saves.
Toronto peppered Rask with 16 shots in the third, while division rivals Boston had only five.
■WILD V SENATORS
The Minnesota Wild, playing one day after a fire destroyed much of their equipment, managed just 23 shots on goal in dropping a 4-1 decision to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
Canadian goaltender Mike Brodeur made 22 saves and Erik Karlsson of Sweden scored his first career goal for the Senators.
The majority of the Wild players had to play with some part of replacement gear after a fire in an equipment van outside Ottawa’s Scotiabank Place arena on Friday destroyed much of their equipment.
No one was hurt in the fire.
Just nine players were able to recover all of their gear.
Goaltender Niklas Backstrom of Finland wore a catching glove with burn marks on it, Nick Schultz had to break in a new set of shoulder pads and Czech Martin Havlat had to wear an old pair of skates that had been sitting on a shelf since last season.
The game was rescued after equipment manager Tony Dacosta took a red-eye flight back to Minneapolis to grab replacement gear that most players had either worn out or used strictly for practice.
Dacosta and the equipment arrived back in Ottawa just before the pre-game skate.
■PENGUINS V SABRES
AP, BUFFALO, NEW YORK
In Buffalo, New York, the Pittsburgh Penguins moved level at the top of the NHL standings with a 2-1 win after a shootout against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.
Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves and stopped three more tries in the shootout, and Kris Letang scored the only goal in the tiebreaker.
Chris Kunitz scored in regulation for Pittsburgh, who have won five straight and moved level on points with divisional rival New Jersey.
PREDATORS 5, FLAMES 3
In Calgary, Canada, Nashville pulled level on points with Central Division leaders Chicago, downing Calgary.
Defenseman Cody Franson scored the go-ahead goal in the third period.
Martin Erat and Marcel Goc each had a goal and two assists, while David Legwand and Dave Scatchard added goals for Nashville.
Jarome Iginla scored twice, and Dion Phaneuf added a goal for Calgary, who missed a chance to go top of the Northwest Division.