Devils 3, Maple Leafs 2, OT
Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 1:50 AM
The Devils celebrate Elias' power-play goal in the third period.
The Devils have been simply unbeatable with Martin Brodeur
back in the lineup.
On Tuesday, Brodeur got more of the offensive support that has New Jersey taking charge in the Atlantic Division. The Devils fired 53 shots on Toronto goaltender Vesa Toskala, and Johnny Oduya's goal with 11.4 seconds left in overtime lifted the Devils to a 3-2 triumph over the Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.
and Patrik Elias
also scored for New Jersey, which extended its winning streak to four games since Brodeur returned last week from an elbow injury.
Late in overtime, Oduya and Brian Gionta skated up ice on a two-on-one against Toronto's Ian White. Gionta blasted a shot from the left circle that got behind Toskala, and Oduya put in the loose puck as he was taken down in front by Pavel Kubina.
The defenseman's sixth of the year was his second goal in as many games, and stretched his points streak to four in a row (2g-3a). He has four game-winners, including two in OT.
Brodeur, meanwhile, made 30 saves to improve to 10-2-2 with his 548th career victory. The future Hall-of-Famer is three shy of matching Patrick Roy's all-time mark of 551, and has held opponents off the board in nine of the last 12 periods.
The Devils (42-19-3, 87 pts.) took their seventh straight overtime decision (8-1) to move into sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference. Washington lost at home to Carolina and to fall to third in the East.
Philadelphia kept pace in the division with a win at Boston and still trails New Jersey by nine points in the Atlantic race.
Clarkson's 15th of the season put the Devils ahead just 3:30 into the contest. New Jersey would let two third-period leads slip away, both times on goals by John Mitchell.
Mitchell tied the game at 1 with a four-on-four strike 2:32 into the final frame. After Elias had put the Devils back on top with his 25th, Mitchell responded again to knot the contest at 2 with 9:15 left in regulation.
For Elias, career point No. 696 moved him within five of John MacLean's all-time club record (701). MacLean became the Devils' points leader (521) when he surpassed Kirk Muller on Dec. 28, 1993 against Hartford.
New Jersey's season-high shots total included seven in overtime. The Devils have pounded opposing goalies with 40-or-more shots in three consecutive games, and five of the last six. It was the first time the club registered 50-or-more shots on the road since getting 50 in a 4-3 overtime win over Florida on March 23, 2003.
The fifty-shot mark was part of the winning recipe again Tuesday for Jersey's Team, which defeated Toronto for the first time in three meetings this season (1-0-2) and snapped the Maple Leafs' winning streak at four.
Not in the lineup was newly-acquired defenseman Niclas Havelid, who is expected to play when the Devils visit the New York Islanders Saturday afternoon. Havelid was picked up from Atlanta in Monday's deal that sent Anssi Salmela
to the Thrashers.
New Jersey returns next Tuesday to host Calgary.
Clarkson made it 1-0 on a goal that was allowed on the ice before a video review upheld the decision.
Clarkson drove to the crease and whiffed on his shot, but the puck slid off the skate of Toronto defenseman Jeff Finger, off the left post and over the goal line as Finger crashed into the net.
Because the net was knocked off its moorings by a defending player, the goal was allowed to stand at 3:30 of the first.
Following a scoreless middle frame, Mitchell tied it early in the third.
Overlapping penalties to Colin White
and Nikolai Kulemin created 1:44 of four-on-four play, and the Leafs capitalized. Jason Blake centered from behind the net, and Mitchell put his sixth of the year underneath Brodeur from the top of the crease at 2:32.
The resilient Devils answered 2:49 later on the power play.
Matt Stajan had served only 23 seconds of his holding minor when Elias one-timed a Jamie Langenbrunner
pass from the right faceoff dot for his ninth power-play tally of the season at 5:21.
Mitchell was able to tie the game a second time midway through the third. Kubina's shot from the point deflected off Stajan's leg and right to Mitchell in the slot. The Toronto centerman notched his seventh of the season and second of the period at 10:45.
Brodeur stopped a Kubina blast from the right circle 37 seconds into the extra session. Zach Parise
had a chance to win on a Mike Mottau rebound 21 seconds later, but was denied on the doorstep by Toskala.
Tuesday's game represented Brodeur's first on the road since Oct. 25, when he lost 3-2 in overtime at Philadelphia. Overall, Brodeur is 4-1-1 this season away from home... With a streak of 17 consecutive .500-or-better seasons, the Devils are tied with the Detroit Red Wings for the longest such active streak in major league sports. The New York Yankees have the next longest active streak with 16. The Montreal Canadiens hold the all-time record with 32 straight from 1951-52 to 1982-83 (Elias Sports Bureau).