Maple Leafs 6, Devils 5 (F/SO)
Halischuk posted an assist in his NHL debut. The Devils' rookie had 9:47 of ice time in 13 shifts.
The Devils survived a season-high 48 shots against to get Wednesday's game versus Toronto to overtime and then to a shootout.
But Niklas Hagman's backhander past Martin Brodeur
in the fourth round of the shootout secured a 6-5 victory for the Maple Leafs over the Devils at Prudential Center.
Hagman tucked his shot inside the left post as he stopped, spraying ice toward Brodeur's mask. Patrik Elias
and Toronto defenseman Tomas Kaberle accounted for the only goals through the first three rounds. Jamie Langenbrunner
was stopped by Toronto netminder Vesa Toskala to seal it.
|Clarkson leaves to an ovation after scoring a TKO against Jamal Mayers in the second period Wednesday.
's seventh of the season extended his goal streak to five games and tied the game at 5-5 in the third period. The five goals scored matched a season high for the Devils, who blew a 2-0 first-period lead and rallied back from deficits of 3-2 and 5-4.
New Jersey had a chance to win it on a power play in overtime, but couldn't solve Toskala, who made 26 saves, including six in the extra session. Toskala made two excellent glove stops in OT on a pair of power-play blasts from the top of the right circle by Langenbrunner.
The Devils' captain returned to the lineup after missing Saturday's game with a lower body injury. The contest featured the NHL debut of rookie Matt Halischuk, who recorded his first career assist. Nicklas Bergfors, also called up Tuesday from Lowell (AHL), did not play.
The 48 shots against was a career-high for Brodeur, who faced 47 shots on April 10, 1994 against Florida. The four-time Vezina Trophy winner finished Wednesday's game with a season-high 43 saves but is winless in three games since capturing career victory No. 543. He needs nine wins to surpass Patrick Roy's all-time mark of 551.
Though the Devils (5-2-2) dropped their third in a row, the team has gained a point in each of its last two contests. Their four-game homestand continues Saturday versus Atlanta.
Head coach Brent Sutter watched his team fall to 2-1-1 on home ice, and was disappointed by their performance.
"We weren't sharp at all," Sutter said. "To be honest, I'm disappointed. Disappointed in how we played tonight. Obviously, a lot of the players in there have to play better than they have the past three games. That's just the basics: getting back to what they're supposed to do.
"Certain guys have certain things [to do] or roles and they're getting away from our gameplan and what each individual has to do. Saturday can't get here quick enough."
New Jersey went 4-0-0 against Toronto in 2007-08 to sweep the season series, and got off on the right foot Wednesday. David Clarkson
's second of the season put the Devils ahead in the first.
Clarkson was stationed at the top of the crease and redirected Mike Mottau's wrist shot from the top of the left circle for a 1-0 New Jersey lead 2:32 into the game. The goal was first credited to rookie Petr Vrana
, who appeared to get his stick on the shot, but was later changed.
It became 2-0 Devils when Dainius Zubrus
chipped Brian Gionta's wraparound rebound over Toskala at 7:04 of the first, and New Jersey closed out the opening frame with a two-goal edge.
In the second period, Toronto went to work on the Devils' lead. The Maple Leafs connected for three straight goals in a span of 3:18 and turned the tables to claim a 3-2 advantage.
Matt Stajan scored his second and third goals of the season 1:18 apart on a pair of redirections on shots from Toronto defensemen. Sutter used his timeout to try and settle things down after Stajan's second of the game, but two minutes later, Alex Steen netted his first with a tip of John Mitchell's pass to make it 3-2 Toronto at 7:31.
The Devils went part of the game without Elias, who took a puck to the side of the head four minutes into the first period and did not return to the ice until three minutes remained in the second. He wound up with 16 shifts for 11:39 of ice time.
Langenbrunner's second of the season evened the score at 3-3. The captain redirected Mottau's shot from the point at 9:14 of the second, and three and a half minutes later, White restored the Devils' lead. Mottau finished with two assists.
White broke the 3-3 tie with his first of the season with a slapper from the right point that hit off Toskala and into the net at 13:42. Halischuk, who helped work the puck back to White along the right sideboards, picked up his first career NHL point with an assist on the goal.
Trailing 4-3, Toronto rallied again in the third when Jamal Mayers and Alexei Ponikarovsky beat Brodeur 1:10 apart for a 5-4 Maple Leafs lead. Ponikarovksy's power-play goal, a shot from the left circle, was the third of the game allowed by Devils penalty killers.
Parise tied it at 5-5 when he jammed home a Paul Martin rebound at 11:17, and was New Jersey's first shooter in the shootout.
The Devils' leading scorer (12 pts.) tried stick side, but was stopped by Toskala. Elias found space inside the left post before Gionta was denied on the Devils' third attempt. Toskala blockered away Langenbrunner's final attempt.
assisted on the Devils' first three goals to record a new single-game career high for both assists and points. Greene had set his previous best with two helpers on Oct. 22 against Dallas... Mike Rupp battered Ryan Hollweg in a fight at 15:57 of the second period after Hollweg put a hit on Parise... New Jersey's previous season high for shots against had been the Flyers' 33 shots from Saturday's game at Philadelphia.
|Three star selections