Tor 0 1 1 2
NJ 1 2 0 3
Date of game: 3/23/2014

Recap: New Jersey vs. Toronto

Newark, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - New Jersey kept its playoff hopes alive with a 3-2 win over the slumping Toronto Maple Leafs, one of the teams the Devils are trying to catch.

Patrik Elias, Jon Merrill and Damien Brunner each scored for the Devils, who snapped a six-game losing streak against Toronto. Cory Schneider earned the win with 21 saves.

Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak supplied the goals for a Maple Leafs team riding an untimely skid. Toronto matched a season high with its fifth consecutive loss.

"We have to come together as a team and battle," Bozak said.

The Devils now have 75 points, five fewer than Toronto, which holds the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Kessel scored with 1:31 remaining in the third period and the Toronto net empty, closing the gap to 3-2.

The Maple Leafs couldn't complete the comeback and suffered their first loss to the Devils since Feb. 21, 2012.

"You knew they'd get a push back and get their chances, but we hung on there," Schneider said.

Brunner snapped a shot from the right circle on a 2-on-1 rush and beat James Reimer glove-side to give New Jersey a 1-0 lead at 14:38 of the first period.

Merrill assisted on Elias' goal before scoring 32 seconds later to trigger a Toronto goalie change early in the second period.

Merrill sent a stretch pass from the New Jersey zone that Elias gathered at the Toronto blue line. The veteran forward slipped a backhander in after faking a slap shot at 1:18.

The Devils went up 3-0 when Merrill jumped on a loose puck and fired a slapper from near the top of the left circle that squeezed through Reimer at 1:50.

Drew MacIntyre, a 30-year-old journeyman, relieved Reimer, who stopped only seven shots in his fifth straight start with Jonathan Bernier sidelined with a groin injury.

Bozak put Toronto on the board at 5:26 of the middle stanza, tipping in Morgan Rielly's pass from the point for a power-play goal.

The Maple Leafs had a 5-on-3 power play for 1:17 later in the second and failed to convert.

MacIntyre made 14 saves in his fifth NHL appearance and first since Nov. 25, 2011.

Game Notes

The Devils are 2-2-0 on a five-game homestand that concludes Thursday against Phoenix ... Toronto also lost five straight from Nov. 25-Dec. 3.

NASCAR News
Smith replaces Larson for Martinsville race

Regan Smith substituted for Kyle Larson in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet in Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway after Larson was sidelined due to additional medical tests following his fainting spell on Saturday.

Extra Points: Snyder and the Beltway radio wars

If contradiction was an Olympic sport, Chip Kelly would certainly be medal-worthy judging by his performance at the NFL's owners meeting but the Eagles coach might have to settle for silver because Daniel Snyder's critics will take the gold every time.

2015 PREVIEW NL EAST: It's the Nationals and everybody else

There isn't much after that. The Miami Marlins are loaded up for a playoff push -- likely through a wild card spot -- and the New York Mets are up-and- coming but still raw. The Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies, former powerhouses of the division, are going through rebuilds and won't contend anytime soon.

Stay Connected with WDEF News 12
 
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.