NHL Game Summary - Toronto at New Jersey
(Tuesday, April 7th)
Final Score: Toronto 4, New Jersey 1
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Martin Gerber was simply sensational between the pipes, making 47 saves, and the Toronto Maple Leafs used a three-goal first period to defeat the New Jersey Devils, 4-1, at Prudential Center.
Mikhail Grabovski, Jeff Hamilton, Christian Hanson and John Mitchell scored for the Maple Leafs, who had lost four of their last five games entering play.
"When (Gerber) is on his game, he's making himself big and he doesn't have to move much," said Toronto head coach Ron Wilson. "He saw a lot of rubber coming his way, but the defense did a pretty good job of tying up sticks and there wasn't an open net."
Jamie Langenbrunner had the lone goal -- his 29th of the season -- for the Devils, who had a modest two-game winning streak snapped and lost for the seventh time in their last nine contests. Martin Brodeur gave up four goals on just 18 shots to take the loss.
New Jersey is four points behind Washington for the second seed in the Eastern Conference after the Capitals doubled up Atlanta, 4-2, on Tuesday. Both clubs have two games left in the regular season.
Toronto constructed a three-goal lead in the first period.
Grabovski opened the scoring at 9:54 with his 20th goal, ripping a shot from the right circle past Brodeur on the short side. Hamilton lit the lamp a little over a minute later, gathering a feed from Jamal Mayers and beating Brodeur along the ice.
The Maple Leafs grabbed a 3-0 with 4:04 to play in the frame. Jason Blake drove hard to the net and Brodeur denied him with the right pad, but Hanson followed up the play and deposited the rebound for the first tally of his NHL career.
"The difference was some mistakes that were made in the first period cost us goals," said Devils head coach Brent Sutter. "They're mistakes that you can't make."
New Jersey got on the board via the power play. Toronto forward Boyd Devereaux looked to start a rush, but was stood up at the defensive blueline by Paul Martin, who stole the puck and quickly handed off to a wide-open Langenbrunner. The Devils captain settled the pass down and fired a wrister between the pads of Gerber with 1:07 remaining in the middle stanza.
Mitchell restored a three-goal edge for the visitors, positioning himself at the left post and one-timing Niklas Hagman's pass from behind the enemy cage through Brodeur's legs 1:34 into the third period.
Blake picked up the 400th point of his career with the primary assist on Hanson's goal...Devils left winger Patrik Elias missed his fourth straight game because of a leg injury...Toronto wrapped up its road schedule for the 2008-09 campaign, posting an 18-19-4 mark...The Maple Leafs won three of four against New Jersey this season.
04/08 00:26:43 ET