Skudra Shuts Out Toronto


Peter Skudra got a chance to start at the last minute, and he made the most of his opportunity.

Skudra

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  • got his first career shutout, and Robert Lang and Jaromir Jagr scored power-play goals as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0 Monday night.

    Skudra filled in for scheduled starter Tom Barrasso, who reinjured his groin during warmups. He stopped 26 shots, including clutch saves on Mats Sundin, Sergei Berezin and Mike Johnson in the third period.

    "It's no big deal, it's my job to be ready," Skudra said. "I knew Tommy wasn't 100 percent and I wanted to bounce back from some disappointing games."

    With Barrasso ailing, Skudra started his third consecutive game. He didn't play well in his previous two starts, including a 6-4 loss to Toronto Saturday.

    "I don't even care abput the shutout, I just needed a game like this to build confidence," he said.

    The shutout was Skudra's first in 21 NHL games. The 25-year-old Russian played 17 games for the Penguins last season and had an impressive 1.83 goals-against average.

    "Give him credit," Sundin said. "He made some key saves when the score was 1-0. Their whole tea played well defensively."

    The Leafs were 0-for-8 on the power play and are now 4-for-45 on the season, third-worst in the league.

    "I'm not exasperated yet, but our special teams clearly have to get better," said Toronto coach Pat Quinn. "We missed on every opportunity. Even the penalty-killing needs work."

    At one point in the second period, it appeared Skruda wouldn't be able to finish the game. Penguins defenseman Neil Wilkinson inadvertently bowled into Skudra while trying to check Toronto's Alyn McCauley, and the goalie lay motionless on the ice for two minutes. He got up, however, and stayed in the game.

    Jagr assisted on Lang's goal at 2:23 of the second period, then scored the insurance goal at 2:51 of the third to move into a tie for the NHL scoring lead with Sundin and Dallas' Darryl Sydor at 11 points.

    The Penguins were on a power play when Jagr made a slick pass to Lang, who fought off a check and sent the puck past goalie Curtis Joseph.

    Jagr wired a wrist shot between Joseph's legs to make it 2-0 early in the third.

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