NHL Game Summary - Toronto at New Jersey
(Wednesday, November 2nd)
Final Score: Toronto 5, New Jersey 3
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Joffrey Lupul had a hat trick, with all three goals coming in the second period, as the Toronto Maple Leafs spoiled Martin Brodeur's return in net for New Jersey with a 5-3 victory over the Devils.
Lupul recorded his first hat trick since December 15, 2007, when he was a member of the Flyers. It's Lupul's third career hat trick and his three goals on Wednesday all came within 6:42 of each other.
"We've got a lot of speed on this team and when we're skating we can make it really tough on the defense," said Lupul. "That's our game plan and it worked tonight."
Joey Crabb and Mikhail Grabovski also netted goals for Toronto, which got two assists from Phil Kessel to give him an NHL-leading 20 points on the season.
Jonas Gustavsson made 19 saves.
Brodeur, the NHL's all-time leader in wins and shutouts, had been out since suffering an injury to his right shoulder on October 13 against the Kings. Johan Hedberg had made the last six starts in Brodeur's absence.
Brodeur struggled, though, stopping just 18-of-23 shots.
Dainius Zubrus, Patrik Elias and David Clarkson scored for New Jersey, which lost its third straight game and fifth in its last six.
"We were sloppy at times out there and they grabbed the opportunities we gave them," said Clarkson. "That was the difference in the game tonight."
With the score tied 2-2, Lupul lit the lamp 6:31 into the second period for his first tally. Mike Komisarek took a slap shot from the high slot, which Brodeur fought away with his pad, but Lupul was there to put home the rebound.
Just 1:44 later, Clarkson tied the game when he backhanded a shot past Gustavsson.
Lupul skated in on the right wing and flicked a shot on net from the right circle, which deflected off Brodeur's glove and into the net to give Toronto the lead again, 4-3, midway through the second.
Lupul's third tally came just 1:28 later. From behind the net, Grabovski found Lupul lurking in the slot and he finished to make it a 5-3 game.
Crabb, just recalled from the Toronto Marlies of the AHL on Tuesday, positioned himself left of the crease and scored when he slapped the puck out of the air and into the net 8:37 into the opening period to give Toronto a 1-0 lead.
With New Jersey on the power play, Zubrus flew up the right wing and found Adam Henrique skating into the slot. Gustavsson made a fine initial save on Henrique, but Zubrus was on the doorstep to put it home and tie the game midway through the first period.
Jay Gardiner slapped a pass through traffic from the left point to Grabovski, who was right of the slot and he fired it home to give Toronto a 2-1 lead, 15:50 into the first.
Adam Larrson passed to Elias from the high point, and he one-timed a slap shot from the right circle on the power play to tie the game early in the second period.
Lupul has eight goals this season...It was the fifth time in Brodeur's career that he allowed at least five goals to Toronto...The Maple Leafs travel to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets in the finale of a three-game road trip on Thursday, while New Jersey travels to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers on Thursday.
11/02 23:50:32 ET