Khavanov rushes back

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

Alexander Khavanov showed the Leafs he has a little Dmitry Yushkevich in him.

The Toronto defenceman went from the doubtful category to the starting lineup last night, less than 48 hours after hobbling off the ice when he blocked a shot on the inside of his unprotected knee.

"It looked pretty ugly at the beginning, but right now, it's just a bad bruise," Khavanov said after a day off Sunday and a test of the knee at the morning skate yesterday. "It hit the bare bone. It didn't feel good."

Yushkevich, Khavanov's Russian countryman, was greatly respected by coach Pat Quinn and the Leafs for sacrificing his body in seven years here (1995-2002).

Khavanov's quick return will allow Quinn to use Wade Belak at right wing instead of defence.

LUMME HELPS LEAFS AGAIN

Defenceman Jyrki Lumme's service to the Leafs hasn't quite ended. At age 39, he has come out of retirement to help the struggling Ilves team in the Finnish League, a boost for Toronto's top pick in the 2005 draft, goaltender Tuukka Rask.

Reports say Lumme is among the top-five plus players on the team. He had spent the past couple of years in Vancouver doing broadcast work for Finnish TV. He owns about a 20% stake of Ilves.

KABERLE SHOOTS, SCORES

The whole city has been shouting for pass-happy Tomas Kaberle to shoot more on the power play. But not Bryan McCabe.

"Naw, he knows what he's doing," said McCabe, after his defensive partner blasted his second goal of the year in a 3-2 win over the Ducks. "The key was we got some guys in front and got some garbage goals."

After an 0-for-7 night Saturday against the Dallas Stars and a 2-for-22 slump during a three-game losing streak, the Leafs had power-play goals from Kaberle and Alex Steen.

"It's not as though the power play hasn't been working, we just haven't been scoring on it," Kaberle said.

HIGH FIVE ON THE BENCH

Jets coach Randy Carlyle is one of five ex-Leafs defencemen now coaching in the NHL with Pat Quinn, Joel Quenneville, Mike Kitchen and Ron Wilson.

"We must have banged our heads somewhere along the way to stay in this business," Carlyle said with a laugh.


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