Leafs Oust Defending Champs


Alyn McCauley is making the most of extensive ice time for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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  • 21-year-old center scored late in the second period as the Maple Leafs opened the season Saturday night with a 2-1 victory over the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings.

    "He had a fine game," said coach Pat Quinn, who won his first game behind the Toronto bench. "We rated him as one of the best, if not our top forward tonight. He scored a highlight-reel goal."

    A rare offensive display from enforcer Tie Domi helped set up McCauley's winning goal. Domi threaded a pass behind the Detroit defense to McCauley in the right slot. McCauley, known for his offensive touch in his junior days in Ottawa, lifted a perfect wrist shot past Chris Osgood's glove.

    "I got off to the kind of start that I wanted," said McCauley, who had six goals and 10 assists as a rookie last season. "It's only one goal, but I'm headed in the right direction."

    Sergei Berezin also scored for Toronto in its 68th and final home opener at Maple Leaf Gardens. The Maple Leafs are scheduled to move to the new Air Canada Centre for a Feb. 20 game against Montreal.

    Larry Murphy scored for the Red Wings, 1-for-7 with the extra man, including 0-for-3 in the third period.

    "They're a heck of a team on the power play," Quinn said. "Fortunately, Curtis Joseph made some fine saves."

    Joseph, signed as a free agent in the off-season, made 15 saves in the third period and 38 overall.

    "I was nervous and excited before the game," Joseph said. "It was like a playoff game for me. I know it's early on, but Detroit is a great team so this is a great start."

    Red Wings forward Brendan Shanahan praised his former teammate.

    "Cujo seemed to be th difference," Shanahan said. "He made key stops when it counted. That was classic Cujo in his element. This was a direct challenge for him and that's when he's at his best.

    "I played with him for years in St. Louis, I know what he can do. That's why the Leafs went out and got him."

    Osgood made 25 saves for the Red Wings.

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