Martin Brodeur robs Bryan McCabe with seven seconds left in regulation to secure the Devils' 2-1 win in Toronto on Saturday. Brodeur finished with 42 saves.
newjerseydevils.com (March 8) – Lately these Devils have had a penchant for the dramatic finish. Right now, they also have a knack for keeping themselves at the top of the Eastern Conference.
Zach Parise's second goal of the game broke a 1-1 tie with 48 seconds left in regulation to lift the Devils to a 2-1 win over the Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Saturday night.
Parise's hustle started the play, when he created a neutral-zone turnover on Matt Stajan. That led to Devils possession in Toronto territory.
From the right corner, Parise fed Patrik Elias at the goal mouth for a tip that was stopped by Vesa Toskala. Jamie Langenbrunner missed a swipe at the rebound, but Parise was able to chip the loose change under Toskala for his 30th of the season at 19:11.
Parise, who has five goals in his last three games, notched his second straight 30-goal campaign and can match his career-high (31) with his next tally.
Elias continued his offensive tear, adding an assist for his 13th helper in 14 games.
Martin Brodeur recorded a season-high 42 saves for his 38th win and tied Evgeni Nabokov for the league lead.
Brodeur, who made 41 stops against the Leafs on Tuesday, thwarted Bryan McCabe's one-timer from the slot with seven seconds left in the third period to preserve the decision.
Two wins shy of his seventh 40-win season, the Devils' goaltender has held opponents to a goal in each of his last three outings (3-0). He made a key save midway through the third, getting the paddle of his stick down to block Stajan's wraparound attempt with 8:32 remaining.
The Devils (40-23-6) extended their winning streak to three games with their second last-minute goal in as many nights. On Friday night, Elias scored with 57.9 seconds left in overtime to put the Devils past the Lightning, 2-1.
New Jersey remains a point ahead of Montreal for the top seed in the East, and took a three-point lead on Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Division. The Canadiens beat the Kings 5-2 on Saturday.
The Devils improved to 7-1-2 in their last 10 road games, and swept the Leafs for the first time since 1997-98. Toronto fell eight points behind Philadelphia for the eighth seed in the conference.
The club resumes the four-game road trip Tuesday in Montreal before visiting Minnesota on Thursday and Colorado on Saturday. New Jersey returns to Prudential Center on Wednesday, March 19 to battle the Rangers.
Parise's team-leading 29th of the season gave the Devils the first lead.
Langenbrunner, who finished with two assists, muscled by McCabe at the right circle, and drove toward the front of the net. The Devils' captain lost control of the puck in the crease, but Parise lifted the stick of Carlo Colaiacovo and stuffed home his 10th on the power play at 11:19.
Minutes later, Toronto mounted a counterattack, but couldn't squeeze one by the iron. Nik Antropov hit the post at 11:54, followed by Alexei Ponikarovski at 12:16.
New Jersey carried the one-goal advantage through a scoreless second period and into the third when Mats Sundin knotted things up on the power play.
Sundin collected his 31st on a blast from the top of the left circle through an Antropov screen at 13:44. The Swede's ninth on the man advantage denied Brodeur a shot at his first shutout since Jan. 4.
NJD NOTES Elias has either scored or assisted on three of the Devils' last four goals and stretched his scoring surge to 14 games with his 15th point (2g-13a) over that span... Langenbrunner has collected three assists in his last three games after going three straight contests without a point... Parise ended the night with a plus-1 rating to improve to a club-high plus-23 and tie for seventh-best in the league... Paul Martin missed a fourth straight game with body soreness... Colin White was out with upper body soreness... Andy Greene returned to the lineup after spending the last three games as a scratch... Rod Pelley and Vitali Vishnevski were scratched.