Toronto at New Jersey

Madden scores twice, Brodeur stops 34 shots in Devils victory

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEWARK, N.J. -- John Madden showed the New Jersey Devils exactly what they were missing during his absence.

Madden returned to the lineup after sitting out two games, a pair of losses in which the Devils had just one goal in each, and scored twice to lead New Jersey past the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on Sunday.

"My thoughts were that we would see how things were going," said Madden, who was sidelined with a right ankle laceration. "I was a little winded, since I hadn't skated until Saturday. I felt a little something here and there, but nothing big. I got better as the game went on."

Madden, widely recognized as one of the NHL's premiere defensive players, has emerged as an important part of the Devils offense this season.

"He's great on faceoffs and in so many parts of the game," said Martin Brodeur, who made 34 saves. "We're happy to have him back."

Travis Zajac also scored for the Devils, who ended the two-game home-ice losing streak.

Darcy Tucker and Pavel Kubina scored for Toronto, which had won three in a row amid a swirl of rumors that general manager John Ferguson is about to be fired.

"We played good hockey these last four games," said Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin. "We played against one of the best teams in the conference. We had a lot of chances and, in the third period, we totally dominated them."

As to possible front office upheaval, Sundin said that "if we sit and wait and follow what's happening off the ice, we're in big trouble.

"I know it's a cliche, but as players, we can't really worry about that stuff. We have to worry about what we have to do on the ice."

The teams were locked in a scoreless tie with 2:32 remaining in the second period when Zajac slammed home the rebound of Karel Rachunek's point shot. The tally extended Zajac's goal-scoring streak to three games.

Madden and Gionta attacked the Toronto zone on a 2-on-1 break a couple minutes later, with Madden carrying the puck down the left wing. He tried to feed it to Gionta, but it deflected off the skate of Toronto defenseman Ian White and into the net with 13 seconds left in the period.

Madden extended the Devils' lead to 3-0 at 3:54 of the third when Paul Martin's shot deflected off his skate while tied up in front of the net by Nik Antropov.

Toronto countered with goals from Tucker and Kubina to trim the New Jersey lead to 3-2.

Tucker broke up Brodeur's shutout bid at 4:54 on a goal very similar to Madden's second tally. Tucker was tied up by a Devils defender when the puck glanced off his skate.

Kubina cut the Toronto deficit to one at 8:29 with a strong individual effort. The defenseman wheeled around the Devils net for a wraparound attempt that Brodeur blocked, but Kubina put in his rebound for an unassisted goal.

Brodeur preserved the win by stopping a pair of close-in chances from Alexander Steen in the closing seconds, including a one-timer that appeared ticketed for the net.

"It hit the post and my pad at the same time," Brodeur said.

Steen knew he was facing one of the game's clutch performers.

"It's just small margins," Steen said. "He reads the play very well. The puck came to me and Marty got over just as quick."

The Maple Leafs started Andrew Raycroft and the Devils wasted little time peppering the backup goalie with shots.

New Jersey took 14 of the first 17 attempts, but Raycroft stood his ground in the scoreless first period. Toronto also had some good chances, the best coming when a shot by Alexei Ponikarovsky hit the post in the opening minute.

Notes

  • Martin skipped Saturday's practice with a sore ankle and knee but was in the lineup.
  • The Prudential Center showed the competing NFC Championship Game between the Giants and Packers on televisions throughout the arena. Fans were invited to remain after the hockey game to watch the remainder of the football game on the center-ice scoreboard screens.
  • Madden and Zach Parise led the Devils with five shots each. A trio of Maple Leafs also had 5 shots: Steen, Sundin and Jason Blake.
  • The Devils were 0-for-3 on the power play, extending their man-advantage futility to 0-for-15 over the last four games.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Martin Brodeur turns back Jason Blake for one of the 34 saves by the New Jersey netminder.  (AP)
Martin Brodeur turns back Jason Blake for one of the 34 saves by the New Jersey netminder. (AP)

Scoreboard
Toronto (19-22-8)0022
New Jersey  (27-17-3) «0213
Three Stars
J. Madden
NJ


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
M. Brodeur
NJ


Saves: 34
Save Pct.: .944
T. Zajac
NJ


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
None
2ND PERIOD
17:28Travis Zajac (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: Karel Rachunek, Johnny Oduya
19:47John Madden (13), Wrist Shot. Assist: Zach Parise, Colin White
3RD PERIOD
03:54John Madden (14), Tip-In. Assist: Paul Martin, Jamie Langenbrunner
04:54Darcy Tucker (6), Tip-In. Assist: Jiri Tlusty, Ian White
08:29Pavel Kubina (4), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
06:20Wozniewski, 2 min, Tripping
2ND PERIOD
07:15Steen, 2 min, Throwing Stick
12:00Rupp, 2 min, Kneeing
14:39Rachunek, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
15:11Stralman, 2 min, Tripping
Shots On Goal
 123T
Toronto10131336
New Jersey1611532
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Andrew Raycroft59:19293
Martin Brodeur60:00342
Game Information
Attendance - 15291
Referees - Dan O'Rourke, Eric Furlatt
Linesmen - Derek Nansen, Pierre Racicot
 
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