Devils 3, Maple Leafs 2 (FINAL)
New Jersey Devils
newjerseydevils.com (Nov. 2) –
Already known for keeping opponents off the scoreboard, the Devils' so-called checking line continues to dominate on the scoresheet.
John Madden's shorthanded goal at 15:48 of the third period broke a 1-1 tie and helped lift the Devils to a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Prudential Center on Friday night.
It was the fifth point in two games for Madden, who pounced on an errant pass headed for Toronto's vacant right point, and turned on the jets to elude both a backchecking Jason Blake and a closing Tomas Kaberle.
The former Selke winner ripped a shot past Vesa Toskala for his 14th career shorthanded tally, and New Jersey never looked back.
The vaunted defensive combo of Madden and Jay Pandolfo now lead the Devils with six goals apiece. Pandolfo – a Selke finalist last season – recorded his first career hat trick in Wednesday's win over Tampa Bay.
New Jersey upped its lead to 3-1 on Zach Parise
's fourth of the season at 17:25 of the third period, and the goal held up as the game winner.
Parise's goalmouth stuff through Toskala's pads capped another third-period surge from the Devils (5-6-1), who have now outscored their opponents 6-1 in the final frame of back-to-back home victories.
New Jersey was outshot 20-9 through two periods, but turned the tables in the third, putting 12 shots on goal to Toronto's eight.
made 26 saves to record win No. 498, and had one of his best sequences of the contest with the Devils shorthanded late in the second period.
With Arron Asham off for boarding Chad Kilger at 17:08, Brodeur helped preserve the 1-1 tie with a sprawling paddle save against Alexei Ponikarovsky, and recovered to fend off a Matt Stajan shot with a swipe of his catching glove.
"Our goaltender was outstanding," head coach Brent Sutter said. "What can you say? He was in the groove and he played very, very well. He gave us a chance to get our act together in the third period."
got the Devils started with his first of the season, going to his backhand to beat Toskala on a breakaway at 14:17 of the opening period.
Clarkson's goal gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead, and Brodeur was credited with a secondary assist for the 28th regular-season helper of his career.
When Mike Mottau's cross-ice breakout pass skipped off the right side boards past Toronto defenseman Andy Wozniewski, a hard-charging Clarkson gathered the puck at the Leafs' blue line and skated in all alone on Toskala.
"He has to play a certain way to be effective," Sutter said of Clarkson. "He will have those offensive opportunities because he can skate and he can shoot. He goes to the net, and he has to be willing to do that all the time."
New Jersey finished 0-for-4 on the man advantage, while Toronto pulled the goaltender for a power-play goal from Mats Sundin with 31.9 seconds left in regulation to finish 1-for-4.
The Devils will have little time to savor Friday's win, as a second meeting with the Rangers at Madison Square Garden awaits on Saturday night (7:00 p.m., FSN NY2, WFAN 660 AM).
Sutter's squad returns to Prudential Center to face Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday, and hosts Philadelphia on Thursday.
Madden was named first star of the game, and has two goals, three assists in his last two contests.... Clarkson and Brodeur were named the game's second and third stars, respectively.
|Three star selections