Posted March 03, 2013 on
AP on Fox
The Toronto Maple Leafs had the weekend to rest after an overtime victory that featured a breakout performance by one of their young stars.
The oldest member of the New Jersey Devils remains out, and they still haven't won since his injury.
The Devils look to avoid their first five-game losing streak in more than two years when they visit Toronto on Monday night.
This is the season's first matchup between two teams separated by one point in the standings, and the Leafs (13-9-0) were thrilled to pick up an extra point with Dion Phaneuf's OT goal in a 5-4 road win Thursday over the New York Islanders.
Toronto had squandered a two-goal lead in the third period after Nazem Kadri completed his first career hat trick in the second. The 22-year-old center has a four-game point streak and leads the Leafs with 21 points - a position he didn't expect to occupy so soon.
"I have pretty high expectations for myself," said Kadri, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2009 draft, "but I didn't really see it like that when I first came into the season."
James van Riemsdyk, 23, added his team-high 12th goal. The former Philadelphia forward has scored four times in his last six regular-season games against New Jersey.
Phil Kessel continues to struggle for Toronto, with no points and a minus-6 rating in his last two contests. The Leafs lost 5-2 at home to Montreal on Wednesday, but they still haven't dropped back-to-back games since Feb. 5 - a 9-4-0 stretch.
"We feel good about ourselves," coach Randy Carlyle said. "Now it's time to get a little exhaling because it's been such a whirlwind ride for us. Now it's time to do some assessments and get us prepared for our next one Monday."
The Devils (10-6-5) picked up their only point in their last four contests in a 4-3 shootout loss Saturday at Buffalo.
Martin Brodeur missed his fourth straight game with a back injury. The 40-year-old netminder is eligible to be activated from the injured list Monday but is not expected to return quite yet.
While Brodeur has gone 5-1-1 with a 1.84 goals-against average in his last seven starts, Johan Hedberg is 0-4-1 with a 3.78 GAA in his past five.
New Jersey's offense showed some signs of life Saturday after scoring two goals or fewer in five of its previous six games. Andrei Loktionov's second goal in as many games extended his point streak to five and tied the contest with 8:38 remaining in regulation.
The Devils went 0 for 5 on the power play, though, and have come up empty on 13 chances during their skid.
"I think we're figuring it out again, and things are going in the right direction," said Ryan Carter, who had an assist in his first game back after missing four because of an upper-body injury. "You take the positives and move forward."
The Devils have won each of their last three games in Toronto in overtime. Each club has taken 11 of the last 22 meetings.
New Jersey hasn't dropped five in a row overall since a six-game skid in December 2010.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
I'm still attempting to recover from the announcement this morning that the Oilers dealt a 4th (or perhaps a 3rd round pick instead) to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Mike Brown. It's not that Brown's a bad chap. He plays hard every game; he hits and he fights. He's a decent 4th line forward and he'll be popular with fans in Edmonton.
The problem with the deal...
Four games on the schedule tonight - NJD at TOR; TBL at PIT; ANA at PHX and NSH at LAK. For me the games to watch are in Toronto and Los Angeles.
This is a huge week for the Maple Leafs as they face New Jersey, Ottawa, Boston and Pittsburgh. Not only do they have the opportunity to create some separation between them and the best-of-the-rest and continue to solidify themselves...
One of the big surprises this season is that Mark Fraser of the Toronto Maple Leafs leads the NHL in +/- rating with a +15 rating. It's a bit of a surprise that Fraser is not in the AHL and has a regular NHL job. He is a defenceman who played only four games outside the AHL last season.
In fact before this year, Fraser had 98 NHL games played over the course of four seasons...
The Toronto Maple Leafs will need to take advantage of a March schedule littered with home games to stay in the running for a playoff spot.
Their task will be a difficult, as this week they face a harrowing schedule with four teams currently residing the top eight of the Eastern Conference.
On Monday, the New Jersey Devils visit the Air Canada Center trailing Toronto in the...
Not exactly the “roster shake-up” we were talking about but it’s a start.
On Monday morning, the Nashville Predators claimed winger Bobby Butler off of waivers from the New Jersey Devils.
Undrafted, Butler inked a two-year deal with the Ottawa Senators shortly after his senior season at University of New Hampshire concluded. He was a Hobey Baker Award finalist as the best...
The Maple Leafs are enjoying a much needed three day respite from game action before embarking on a daunting schedule of 26 games in 54 days, but one of the few players who does not need any rest has grown tired of waiting to get back into the lineup.
TSN's Darren Dreger reported on Wednesday that veteran defenseman Mike Komisarek, who has not seen action since a 1-0 loss...
The Sabres will win today's game if and only if they repeatedly get pucks deep on the Devils D, then snow plow the puck to the paint. The Devils have been vulnerable on their interior D and the Sabres must exploit the weaknesses.
The slumping Devils (4-5-1 in last 10) haven't won a game since Martin Brodeur's back ailment started flared up on him last week.
The New Jersey Devils lost their fourth straight contest on Saturday afternoon at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres. Jersey's Team fell by a score of 4-3 in a shootout; the Devils missed out on a point in a game in which they dominated the opposition. Johan Hedberg stopped 20 of 23 shots but could not get the job done for the third consecutive game.
David Clarkson and Steve...
The strong starts of the New Jersey Devils and Tampa Bay Lightning seem long forgotten as both continue to fight through their current struggles.
New Jersey, though, has been successful in most of its recent matchups with Tampa Bay, and it seeks an 18th victory in 21 games between the teams on Tuesday night.
The Devils (10-7-5) began the season 8-1-3, but they've gone 2-5-2...
Match-up - New Jersey Devils (10-6-4) @ Buffalo Sabres (8-12-1)
Road/Home records - 4-4-2 -------------- 3-6-1
TV - MSG Plus, MSG-B
Puck drop - 3:00 PM ET
Season series - Tied 0-0
Last 10: Devils 4-5-1 / Sabres 4-6-0
Projected starting goalies - Johan Hedberg (NJ) vs. Ryan Miller (BUF)
Battle of the stats
Goals for/against per game
Buffalo - 2.48 / 3.19
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
If the latest proposal for NHL realignment is shot down again by the players, the deal-breaker will be the playoff format.
“That’s the big thing, the evenness in making the playoffs,” New Jersey Devils goaltender Johan Hedberg said Monday. Hedberg, though, doesn’t like the word deal-breaker, adding he expects there will be...