It took Adam Mair only half a period to do what Todd Warriner struggled to do all season--score a goal.
Mair, who was recalled earlier in the day from St. John’s of the American Hockey League and didn’t arrive in Toronto until 2 1/2 hours before the game, scored his first regular-season NHL goal as the Maple Leafs defeated the Washington Capitals, 3-1, Monday night at Toronto.
Yanic Perreault and Steve Thomas also scored for Toronto. Defenseman Tomas Kaberle had two assists and Curtis Joseph made 20 saves to get his league-leading 12th victory.
“I think I was more exhausted before I could build up any nerves,” said Mair, who scored at 11:36 in the first period. “It was a relief to get that early goal because it calmed things down and let me settle into the game.”
Warriner, who had only three goals in 18 games, was traded to Tampa Bay earlier Monday for a third-round pick in 2000.
“Adam brings an ingredient that we clearly need. He’s going to get a chance to show his wares,” Toronto Coach Pat Quinn said. “He’s a young guy and we don’t want to spoil him or have him sit around too much, so he needs to play to continue to develop his game.”
Jeff Halpern scored a shorthanded goal for Washington, which lost for only the second time in eight games.
Toronto took over sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of Philadelphia. With 33 points, Toronto also tied the Kings, Phoenix and San Jose for most points in the NHL.