Leafs' Scrivens gets nod for net

Goalie Ben Scrivens during a Toronto Maple Leafs practice at the Mastercard Centre for Hockey...

Goalie Ben Scrivens during a Toronto Maple Leafs practice at the Mastercard Centre for Hockey Excellence in Toronto on Thursday September 22 2011. (Ernest Doroszuk/QMI AGENCY)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:02 PM ET

Ben Scrivens will make his third NHL start in a week Thursday night.

Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson tapped the 25-year-old to play against the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center.

“We believe in both of our goalies,” Wilson said after the morning skate. “Every once in a while you’re going to struggle. Tonight, I have decided to go with Ben. Simple decision. I hope both guys play well. I don’t need one. I want both to play well.”

Jonas Gustavsson started against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, but was pulled in favour of Scrivens in an eventual 5-1 Leafs loss. The opposite happened in the previous game, when Scrivens was yanked against the Boston Bruins and Gustavsson mopped up in a 7-0 loss.

Gustavsson, naturally, was disappointed when he was told this morning he would not start.

“Yeah, you always want to play,” Gustavsson said. “(But) you can’t feel sorry for yourself.”

Scrivens did not speak to reporters after the morning skate.

With James Reimer nursing concussion-like symptoms, both Scrivens and Gustavsson have not been good recently. Though it was just a week ago, Scrivens’ first NHL start, a 38-save win in Columbus versus the Blue Jackets, mostly has been forgotten.

Scrivens is 1-1 with a 4.05 goals-against average and .867 save percentage in three appearances, while Gustavsson is 4-4 with a 3.78 average and a .878 save percentage in nine games.

Wilson reiterated there is no timetable for Reimer’s return to the lineup.

Still, the Leafs say they have confidence in both Gustavsson and Scrivens.

“I like the confidence that Benny has,” captain Dion Phaneuf said. “He’s a really easy-going guy and I think that is a great quality to have when you are a goalie.

“You lose as a team and we win as a team," he said. "There is no finger-pointing in our room. We are very confident in both goalies.”

Jaroslav Halak, who had been struggling before he shut out the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night in Ken Hitchcock’s first game as Blues coach, will start against the Leafs.

“I think we can build off (the win against the Blackhawks),” Hitchcock said. “We played a heck of a game. It’s not about the opponent now. It’s about the way we play.”

Alex Steen, who was traded to the Blues along with defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo in a swap that sent forward Lee Stempniak to Toronto on Nov. 24, 2008, will play the Leafs for the third time since the deal.

“It’s Toronto, the team that drafted me and got me started,” Steen said. "So that is always going to be special. But as far as the team, there is no one really there anymore (that he played with). I played with Schenn and Grabovski and Kulemin for 20 games, and that was it. Everyone else is new.”

TONIGHT’S PROJECTED LINEUPS

TORONTO

Left wing—Centre—Right wing

Joffrey Lupul— Tyler Bozak—Phil Kessel

Clarke MacArthur— Mikhail Grabovski— Nikolai Kulemin

Matthew Lombardi— David Steckel— Matt Frattin

Joey Crabb— Philippe Dupuis—Mike Brown

Defence pairings

Carl Gunnarsson-Dion Phaneuf

John-Michael Liles-Mike Komisarek

Jake Gardiner-Luke Schenn

Goalies

Ben Scrivens

Jonas Gustavsson

ST. LOUIS

Left wing—Centre—Right wing

Vladimir Sobotka— David Backes— T.J. Oshie

Matt D’Agostini—Patrik Berglund—Chris Stewart

Alex Steen— Jason Arnott —Jamie Langenbrunner

Evgeny Grachev—Scott Nichol—Ryan Reaves

Defence pairings

Barret Jackman-Kevin Shattenkirk

Carlo Colaiacovo-Alex Pietrangelo

Ian Cole-Roman Polak

Goalies

Jaroslav Halak

Brian Elliott


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