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T.O. starting Scrivens again

Work in relief earns netminder another shot as Reimer heals

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TORONTO -- Ben Scrivens is back as the Toronto Maple Leafs' starting goaltender.

The club announced Tuesday incumbent James Reimer will miss at least a week with a strained knee ligament after getting injured in the second period of Toronto's 5-2 home win over the Philadelphia Flyers Monday night.

The 6-2, 196-pound Scrivens was a superb replacement for Reimer, stopping 32 of 33 shots he faced in relief.

With Reimer now sidelined, Scrivens will be the man in goal during a busy time for the Leafs (8-5-0), who have won four straight heading into Thursday night's road contest against the Carolina Hurricanes that kicks off a stretch of six games in 10 nights.

Toronto's hectic schedule was of little concern to Scrivens on Tuesday as the 26-year-old native of Spruce Grove, Alta., and his teammates visited with patients at the Hospital for Sick Children.

"I'm ready to play the next game, and that's all I'm going to focus on right now," Scrivens said. "We have a game Thursday, and I'm focused on getting back out to practise (today) and having a good practice and continue what I was doing two days ago before any of this stuff happened.

"My mindset hasn't changed at all.It's still go practise hard, go do my job and give the team a chance to win when called upon."

Toronto might have to lean heavily on Scrivens for a while. On Tuesday, the Calgary Flames announced veteran goalie Miikka Kiprusoff will miss another two weeks with a sprained knee ligament after being sidelined a week by the ailment.

The Leafs are expected to call up either Jussi Rynnas or Mark Owuya from the Marlies to back up Scrivens. But that move can't happen until today because the AHL squad was scheduled to visit the Hamilton Bulldogs Tuesday night.

Entering that contest, Rynnas had an 8-7-1 record to go with a 2.54 goals-against average and .914 save percentage, while Owuya was 3-4-0 with a 3.29 GAA and .869 save percentage.

Scrivens began the season as the Leafs starter, partly because he spent the lockout playing for the Marlies, while Reimer didn't suit up for any team. With an abbreviated training camp to start the year, the thinking was Scrivens was more game-ready than Reimer.

Goaltending was a major concern for Toronto to start the season, considering Scrivens and Reimer had made fewer than 100 career starts combined. Scrivens began the campaign impressively, allowing just three goals in his first two starts before being pulled in the third period of a 7-4 home loss to the New York Islanders Jan. 13 after allowing five goals on 25 shots.

He has made just once start since, a 3-2 win over Washington on Feb. 5. So far this season, he has appeared in five games -- four starts -- and compiled a 2-2 record, 2.56 goals-against average and .913 save percentage.

Reimer, meanwhile, has made 10 appearances, including nine starts, and has 6-3 record with a 2.31 GAA, one shutout and .929 save percentage.

The good news for Toronto is Reimer's injury isn't nearly as serious as the whiplash he suffered after being hit by Montreal's Brian Gionta on Dec. 3, 2011.

That incident forced him to miss 19 games and Reimer was slow to regain his form upon his return.

On Monday night, the 24-year-old from Morweena, Man., was hurt on a rather innocent-looking play. He was down on his knees during a goal-mouth scramble and once play ended, he required assistance to get to his feet and to leave the ice.

The loss of a No. 1 goaltender can be devastating to a team, but Toronto defenceman Mark Fraser says Scrivens more than proved his mettle coming off the bench and effectively shutting the down the Flyers.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 13, 2013 $sourceSection0

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