NHL Game Summary - Toronto at New Jersey
(Friday, January 29th)
Final Score: New Jersey 5, Toronto 4 (OT)
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Travis Zajac scored a power-play goal with 45.5 seconds remaining in overtime to lift the New Jersey Devils to a 5-4 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Prudential Center.
The Devils squandered a two-goal lead late in regulation but were awarded a power play when Toronto defenseman Luke Schenn hooked Zajac with 1:08 left in the extra session.
On the man advantage, Zajac positioned himself in the middle of the right circle and drilled a feed from Zach Parise past Maple Leafs goaltender Vesa Toskala.
Zajac also collected three assists, while Parise scored twice and picked up two helpers for New Jersey, which snapped a two-game slide and won for just the third time in its last nine games.
"It's been tough scoring goals lately, and to be able to get a couple breaks and some chances tonight -- it felt good," Zajac said.
Dainius Zubrus had a goal and two assists, and rookie Patrick Davis also tallied his first career goal for the Devils.
Martin Brodeur, making his league-leading 50th start of the season between the pipes, turned aside 25 saves in the win.
Toronto forwards Alexei Ponikarovsky and Matt Stajan scored 3:30 apart to force overtime. Carl Gunnarsson and Colton Orr also found the back of the net for the Maple Leafs, who are winless in five straight (0-3-2). It was the first goal of Gunnarsson's career.
Toskala made 10 saves in relief of starting netminder Jonas Gustavsson, who surrendered three goals on 19 shots.
"It was a good result -- we came back into the game," Gustavsson said. "Myself, I wouldn't change. I felt like I was getting back into the game there with a couple saves in the second period. It was a good result, we came back into the game and that's what matters."
Ponikarovsky lit the lamp with five minutes to go in the third period, then Stajan battled down low and backhanded a rebound, but the Maple Leafs failed to secure the bonus point.
Toronto opened the scoring at the 6:11 mark of the first period. Gunnarsson uncoiled a slap shot from the left point that changed direction off the stick of Devils center Rod Pelley.
The lead lasted a total of 59 seconds. Parise missed the mark with a shot and Zubrus jumped on the loose puck at the side of the net. He then swept the disc through the crease to Parise for an easy tap-in.
Parise put New Jersey on top with 6:20 left in the opening frame, one-timing a Zubrus feed set up by a horrible turnover by Toronto rearguard Ian White.
The Devils increased their lead to 3-1 at 9:22 of the second period. Zubrus skated down the left side, took a saucer pass from Zajac, gliding down the opposite wing, and fired a shot over a sprawled Gustavsson, who stumbled while trying to get across.
Orr, known more for dropping the gloves, displayed some skill in beating Brodeur on a breakaway, trimming the deficit to 3-2 with 5:19 left in the middle stanza.
However, Davis snapped a wrister from the right circle, restoring New Jersey's two-goal lead less than three minutes later.
Parise leads the Devils with 25 goals and 55 points...New Jersey left winger Patrik Elias missed a seventh straight game with a concussion...Pelley was activated from injured reserve before the game. He sat out five games with a lower-body ailment...Toronto fell to 3-9-2 in the month of January...Maple Leafs forward Jamal Mayers had two assists...Toronto left winger Niklas Hagman played in his 600th NHL game, while Orr appeared in his 300th...Toronto returns home Saturday to welcome the Canucks...The Devils host Los Angeles on Sunday.
01/30 00:25:27 ET