Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Komarov and Grabner Each Score Twice, Bernier Shuts out Kings for First Win

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Komarov and Grabner Each Score Twice, Bernier Shuts out Kings for First Win

Article excerpt

Leafs' Bernier shuts out Kings for first win

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TORONTO - Jonathan Bernier's confidence may have been wounded, but his sense of humour is in tact.

Minutes after picking up his first victory of the season by shutting out the Los Angeles Kings 5-0 Saturday night at Air Canada Centre, the Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender flashed a wry smile.

"I won last week," Bernier quipped about winning in the minors.

Following 11 losses to start his NHL season a humbling journey on a minor-league conditioning assignment, Bernier shined against the Kings by stopping all 26 shots he faced.

"I've had a tough time, but I've been saying it: If you stick to the program and you work hard, at one point you'll get rewarded," Bernier said. "Definitely that was a big win for myself and for the team. Guys played really well and we deserved the win tonight."

Bernier had been 0-8-3 with some of the worst stats among NHL goaltenders. But he was on point Saturday night, stopping several quality scoring chances and remaining calm under pressure.

The Leafs (11-13-7) played a strong defensive game against a tired Kings team at the end of a six-game road trip. But all the post-game smiles had to do with getting the job done for Bernier.

"It hadn't gone as good for Bernier," Babcock said. "It's got to be unbelievably hard on him mentally and you get put through the ringer -- he's been down in the minors, he watched (Garret) Sparks play ahead of him, that's not easy. ... We're thrilled for him, the whole team is thrilled for him, I'm thrilled for him."

The Kings (20-10-2) credited Jonathan Quick's former backup for beating them.

"You hear him talking in interviews lately, he was talking about how he was feeling like he was getting better and better and better things were going to come for him," winger Milan Lucic said. "It seemed like everything we put on net hit him and he was in the right spot and played a really good game."

Bernier also had some help in the form of an offensive explosion. …

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