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Tue, Mar 3, 2009 - 7:30 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Oduya goal helps Devils skate past Leafs

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TORONTO (AP)

Martin Brodeur remained unbeaten since returning to the New Jersey lineup. Johnny Oduya scored on a rebound while sliding into the crease 4:48 into overtime to help Brodeur improve to 4-0 since coming back from an elbow injury as the Devils beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on Tuesday night. Brodeur, who missed 50 games before rejoining the team last week, stopped 30 shots to move within four wins of breaking Patrick Roy's NHL record of 551 career victories. "When I came back I was 100 percent healthy with my arm," Brodeur said. "It's just a question of testing it right now. The last four games I've done everything I can in a lot of different situations and my arm has held up pretty good." Brodeur also remained three behind Terry Sawchuk's record of 103 shutouts. "I just want to win games and sometimes you just have to shut them down," Brodeur said when asked if shutouts are on his mind. "It's never something in the back of my mind. It's all about winning." David Clarkson and Patrik Elias scored in regulation for New Jersey, which outshot Toronto 53-32 and won for the ninth time in 11 games. "We let them hang in," Brodeur said. "We had plenty of chances to put them away in the first two periods. We had a lot of shots and they somewhat built on that. They had a great third period and it was kind of nice for us to show some character and pull it off." John Mitchell scored twice for the Maple Leafs, who tied the 2003-04 Edmonton Oilers' NHL record with their seventh consecutive overtime game. Leafs GM Brian Burke pulled Nik Antropov and Dominic Moore from the lineup as he attempted to move the forwards before the Wednesday trading deadline. "They're both involved in deals and it doesn't make sense to put them at risk of injury," Burke said before the game. The Devils controlled the puck for prolonged stretches of the game and only outstanding goaltending by Vesa Toskala sent the game to an extra period. "He was unbelievable," Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "He was the reason we got a point. With people out of the lineup, we knew scoring would be a struggle. We needed great goaltending, and we got it." Clarkson gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead at 3:30 of the first period. The Toronto-born right wing fanned on his shot but the puck slid over the goal line when Mike Van Ryn went barrelling into Toskala while trying to hit Clarkson. The net was off its moorings before the puck went in and after a video review, officials counted it based on the reasoning that a defending player caused the crash. The Devils outshot the Leafs 17-5 in the second period, but couldn't get the puck past Toskala. Mitchell tied it for the Leafs at 2:32 of the third period by slipping between Brian Rolston and Andy Greene at the front edge of Brodeur's crease and redirecting in a pass from Jason Blake from behind the net. Elias put the Devils back in front with a power-play goal at 5:21. With Matt Stajan off for holding, Elias slapped in a high shot from the circle to the left of Toskala off a cross-ice pass from Jamie Langenbrunner. Mitchell tied it again with a power-play goal at 10:45, making the most of his extra playing time with Antropov and Moore sitting out. "You always feel a little more confident when that happens," Mitchell said of his expanded role. "Certain guys are going to get traded and other guys have to come in and step up and play. "I'm one of those guys that has kind of been on the fourth line the whole season and now that some guys are out of the lineup it gives me an opportunity to climb up the depth chart a little bit. When those chances come, I've got to come ready to play."

Notes

Toronto won its previous two games against New Jersey this season in shootouts. ... Both teams were 1-for-4 on power plays. ... Leafs RW Niklas Hagman remained out as a result of being elbowed in the head by the Islanders' Brendan Witt last Thursday.
Tagged: Devils, Maple Leafs

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