Maple Leafs 4, Predators 0

Bucky Dent, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Early returns on the addition of Jonathan Bernier look pretty good for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Bernier turned away 36 shots for his seventh career shutout Thursday night as Toronto knocked off the Nashville Predators 4-0 at Bridgestone Arena.
Acquired from the Los Angeles Kings on June 23 for right wing Matt Frattin, goalie Ben Scrivens and a second-round pick, Bernier play Thursday with a 1.17 goals-against average and a .962 save percentage. He did no harm to either number despite a heavy workload.
The Predators (1-3-0) peppered him with 17 shots during the second period and kept coming for most of the third, but Bernier was equal to every challenge. His best save might have come early in the third as he denied a point-blank wrist shot from Kevin Klein.
In winning their third consecutive road game, the Maple Leafs (4-1-0) opened the scoring late in the second period. Phil Kessel skated into the high slot and snapped home James van Riemsdyk's feed from behind the net at 13:41 for his second goal of the year.
Van Riemsdyk tallied his third at 19:51, stealing the puck from Pekka Rinne as the Nashville goalie tried to hold it to force a faceoff, then wrapping a backhander into the net.
Toronto appeared sluggish for most of the first 30 minutes. The Leafs didn't squeeze off a shot until the 13:19 mark of the first period, then withstood a barrage in the first 10 minutes of the second as the Predators outshot them 12-2.
The Maple Leafs sealed the win with two power-play goals after Mike Fisher was assessed a boarding major and game misconduct at 13:18 of the third for his hit on Cody Franson.
Tyler Bozak scored his second of the season at 16:18 as his centering pass for van Riemsdyk caromed off the skate of Nashville rookie Seth Jones. Joffrey Lupul tacked on his third at 16:59.
NOTES: Toronto recalled D T.J. Brennan, LW David Broll and LW Josh Leivo from its American Hockey League affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, on Wednesday. Broll and Leivo both dressed Thursday, making them the 901st and 902nd players in club history. LW Jamie Devane and C Trevor Smith were sent down to the Marlies. ... Nashville welcomed the Maple Leafs to town for just the fifth time in its 15-year history. That's the fewest visits of any franchise to the Music City. ... Toronto C Jay McClement was back in action Thursday after missing Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche due to the birth of a son. ... D Roman Josi (concussion) and RW Viktor Stalberg (shoulder) were out of the Predators' lineup again, although Stalberg did skate with the team during Wednesday's practice.

What to Read Next