Jonathan Bernier made his first start for the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies on Friday night as the Maple Leafs' goaltending situation took another turn on the road.
The struggling Bernier started against the Rochester Americans to kick off his conditioning stint, which is expected to last 10 days.
Meanwhile, the Leafs recalled goalie Antoine Bibeau to join them in St. Louis after starter James Reimer aggravated an injury. Reimer is considered day-to-day, meaning Garret Sparks could make his third NHL start or Bibeau his first on Saturday against the Blues.
Bernier was among the worst goaltenders in the NHL with a 0-8-1 record, 3.28 goals-against average and .888 save percentage.
The Leafs sent Bernier to the minors, with his approval, to get his game back on track.
With Bibeau recalled before the game, the Marlies were forced to sign David Ayres, the building-operations manager at Mattamy Athletic Centre, to an amateur tryout contract to serve as Bernier's backup.
Ayres, a 38-year-old who occasionally works for the ice crew and drives the Zamboni during Marlies games, made it to Rochester just over an hour before puck drop.