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Leafs top Devils with 3rd-period surge
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Jay McClement, Clarke MacArthur and Phil Kessel scored in the third period to help Toronto overcome New Jersey, 4-2, at Air Canada Centre.
Nazem Kadri tallied in the opening 20 minutes and James Reimer made 28 saves for the Maple Leafs, who have won two straight and six of their last nine.
"We weren't very happy with what we were doing for the first 40 minutes of the hockey game and we were fortunate that we were only down one goal," said Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle. "The tide had really turned."
Marek Zidlicky registered both goals and Ryan Carter added assists on both for the Devils, losers of five consecutive games. Johan Hedberg allowed all four goals on 23 shots, as Martin Brodeur remains sidelined with a back issue.
McClement's short-side tally 39 seconds into the third forged a 2-2 deadlock, then MacArthur gave the Leafs a 3-2 lead at 7:25, only eight seconds into a tripping minor to Devils forward Andrei Loktionov.
It was 4-2 for the hosts at 9:52 when Kessel redirected a James van Riemsdyk dish past Hedberg on the right side off a 2-on-1 break.
In a desperation move, Hedberg was pulled for an extra skater with well over two minutes remaining. The Maple Leafs kept the pressure on in their half of the ice, missing several chances at the empty cage while keeping the visitors away from Reimer.
Kadri opened the scoring just after the midway point of the first period, when his attempted cross-crease pass caromed off Hedberg's stick, through his pads and over the goal line.
"We played well enough to win. We need some saves," said Hedberg. "I have to take that upon me. I have to play better for us to get out of this. I know that I have to be better. When we need a save I have to be there, especially when it's hard for us to get a win."
Zidlicky's wrister from the bottom of the left circle zipped past Reimer at 5:43 of the second period, then the New Jersey defenseman put his club ahead at 11:18, finishing off a give-and-go with Carter on a shot under the crossbar.
Toronto halted a three-game home losing skid to New Jersey, posting its first win over the Devils since a 3-1 decision on Nov. 18, 2010 ... Prior to the game, the Leafs dealt forward Mike Brown to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2014 ... Zidlicky posted the sixth multi-goal game of his career.
03/05 00:18:35 ET