TORONTO | At least Jonas Gustavsson knows the Washington Capitals better than fellow Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ben Scrivens. He’s getting the nod in goal Saturday night to face the Caps for the fourth time in his career.
“We’ve got a lot of games, and we have to play [Sunday at Carolina], too,” Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. “Scrivs was going to play in one of them, so we’ve decided tonight Jonas, and Jonas has beaten Washington in the past. He’s 1-1-1 against them.”
Gustavsson is 1-1-1 with 3.93 goals-against average and .871 save percentage all-time against the Caps. This season, his numbers aren’t much better: 4-4-0 with a 3.78 GAA and .878 save percentage.
This will be the first start for the 27-year-old since Nov. 8, when he was yanked after two periods and three goals on 21 shots.
“I don’t know if [relief is] the right word – more excitement to get the chance to play,” Gustavsson said. “That’s what you want to do – you want to compete, and tonight I get the chance to compete against one of the best guys in the league.”
That guy, Alex Ovechkin, also thrives on “Hockey Night in Canada.” He has 14 goals in 12 games in Toronto, too.
Still, teammates are looking forward to playing in front of the “Monster.”
“He’s a good goalie, and we’ve got a lot of faith in him,” forward Joey Crabb said. “It shouldn’t be anything too different, and we’re going to battle for him.”