NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Toronto
(Tuesday, March 3rd)
Final Score: New Jersey 3, Toronto 2 (OT)
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Johnny Oduya scored the game-winning goal with 11.4 seconds remaining in overtime as the Atlantic division-leading New Jersey Devils edged the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-2, at Air Canada Centre.
With the score deadlocked at 2-2 at the end of regulation, each team had several chances in the extra period, but Toronto got caught in an odd-man rush late and the Devils ended it.
Brian Gionta led the 2-on-1 break and took the slap shot from the middle of the right circle that Vesa Toskala got a piece of. However, the puck trickled behind the netminder and Oduya, skating hard, put it home before the net came off its pegs to give New Jersey the win.
David Clarkson and Patrik Elias also tallied for the Devils, who have won four in a row and nine of their last 11 overall. They maintained a nine-point lead over Philadelphia for the top spot in the division. The Flyers defeated Boston 4-2 earlier on Tuesday night.
Martin Brodeur was steady between the pipes for New Jersey, turning aside 30- of-32 shots and now has 548 career wins, three shy of Patrick Roy for most by a goaltender in league history.
"They made it close in the third," Brodeur said. "Toskala played a great game and kept their team close. They scored early in the third and got some momentum back. The beauty of this hockey club is we have plenty of fire power and we're not afraid to use it. If it wasn't for their goalie we would have won it sooner."
John Mitchell accounted for both Toronto goals, while Toskala made 50 saves in defeat. The Maple Leafs, who saw their four-game winning streak halted, have earned at least one point in seven straight contests.
Toronto forwards Nik Antropov and Dominic Moore were healthy scratches as speculation has them being dealt before Wednesday's NHL trade deadline.
New Jersey opened the scoring 3 1/2 minutes into the contest on an unconventional goal by Clarkson. After taking a pass from Mike Mottau, the right winger lost control of the puck before getting a shot away. A Toronto defender then inadvertently knocked Toskala over and the net off its pegs. In the process the puck deflected off the left post and across the line with the net clearly off. The officials ruled it a goal and the call was upheld following a brief booth review.
After a scoreless second period, the Leafs netted the equalizer 2:32 into the third. Mitchell, standing on the doorstep, put home a backhand pass from Jason Blake from behind the net.
"You always want to battle back," Mitchell said. "We were down by a goal going into the third and you want to comeback and compete. I got a good pass on my stick from Jason (Blake) and it went in."
Elias' one-time blast from the right circle put the Devils back in front less than three minutes later while on the power play. However, Mitchell's power- play marker got the Leafs even at 2-2 with 9:15 left in the third.
New Jersey will play at the New York Islanders on Saturday, while Toronto will visit Washington on Thursday...The Maple Leafs have played seven straight overtime games, which tied an NHL record.
03/03 23:02:30 ET