New faces, new places

Teams who were active at the trading deadline didn't have to wait long to see results.

Steve Bernier of the Buffalo Sabres had the best debut on Wednesday night, recording two goals on his first two shots and an assist in an 8-4 win over the Nashville Predators.

"When your confidence is not where you want it to be and the first shot you make you score, it helps," said Bernier, who is looking for a fresh start after being labeled an underachiever during three seasons with the San Jose Sharks. "I'm glad everything went the way I wanted everything to go. ... Yeah, it's a good start, but nothing is done yet."

All-Star Brian Campbell, who the Sabres dealt to acquire Bernier, drew an assist in the Sharks' 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"He showed that he's a player, that he wants to be on the ice all the time," San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. "He's generally always in attack mode. You can see he’s a sneaky hitter, too."

In Tampa, Mike Smith made 24 saves and Jeff Halpern had a goal and assist in the Lightning's 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild. Tampa Bay picked up Halpern, Smith and Jussi Jokinen (4 shots on goal, minus-1 in 22:28) from the Dallas Stars for former Conn Smythe Trophy winner Brad Richards and Johan Holmqvist, who will make their debuts on Thursday.

"Probably one of the harder games I've ever played mentally," said Smith, who still wore his Stars mask. "Everything that has gone on the last couple days. Fighting the nerves a little bit. For the most part, it felt pretty good. Disappointed in the outcome."

Andrew Ladd of the Chicago Blackhawks, acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes for Tuomo Ruutu, had a team-high five shots on goal but didn't register a point in a 1-0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.


1. Mats Sundin, Toronto Maple Leafs: The longtime captain wanted to stay with the Maple Leafs, invoking his no-trade clause to make sure he would remain with the team. Sundin's second third-period goal forced overtime, and the Leafs went on to a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers.

2. Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche: In his third game back after missing 38 following hernia surgery, Sakic scored the tying goal with 14.7 seconds in regulation as Colorado went on to a 3-2 shootout win, ending the Vancouver Canucks' season-high four-game winning streak. It was Sakic first goal since Nov. 28 and the 617th of his career.

3. Patrick Lalime, Chicago Blackhawks: Starting again in place of the injured Nikolai Khabibulin, Lalime made 32 saves in a 1-0 win over Phoenix for his first shutout since Feb. 7, 2007 and 35th of his career.

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