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Live Blog: Three late goals give the Devils the victory

Dean McAmmond, Travis Zajac and Jay Pandolfo scored in the final 3:04 to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Prudential Center.

Pandolfo capped the comeback win with the game-winning goal at 19:41. Pandolfo took a pass from Langenbrunner and snapped a shot past Gustavsson for the game-winner.

Travis Zajac scored the tying goal with 46 seconds left in the period. With Alexei Ponikarovsky in the box for hooking, Kovalchuk took the puck at the point. He passed the puck to Zajac, who one-timed a shot past Gustavsson for the tying goal.

The powerplay goal was the first of the game for the Devils. They were 0-for-2 before that tally.

Dean McAmmond tallied his seventh goal of the season at 16: 56 to bring the Devils within one. Mike Mottau collected the puck at the point and passed it to Vladmir Zharkov. Zharkov put a shot on the net that was tipped home by McAmmond for the goal.

The Devils haven’t put together any offensive pressure in the third period, and the Leafs have easily milked the clock in this third period.

The Leafs have consistently forced turnovers and bad plays from the Devils, driving their three-goal effort. The Leafs also converted two of three powerplay chances in the second period. The Devils are 0-for-2 with the powerplay tonight.

The Devils hold an 18-15 advantage in shots after two periods, but the Leafs have had the better scoring chances.

The Devils skated off the ice to a chorus of boos from their home fans. You can’t fault them, with their team playing lackluster hockey against a subpar opponent.

Rikard Wallin, Lee Stempniak and Tomas Kaberle scored the three goals in the period.

Sloppy play by the Devils in their end allowed Wallin to score his first goal of the season at 16:09 in the second period. Langenbrunner carried the puck back into his defensive zone, but inexplicably attempted to backhand the puck to Colin White in the slot. Wallin, standing between the two players, stole the puck and shot it past Brodeur for the Leafs third goal of the period.

Lee Stempniak scored the Leafs second powerplay goal of the period at 10:23 to put the Maple Leafs ahead, 2-1.

With Ilya Kovalchuk in the box for interference, Stempniak picked up a loose puck in the Devils zone. He skated from the left boards across the zone, fighting through two stick checks. Stempniak took a shot from the right circle that beat Brodeur between the pads for the goal.

Tomas Kaberle tallied a powerplay goal at 3:39 earlier in the period to tie the game at one.

Phil Kessel passed the puck to Tyler Bozak, who carried the puck into the Devils zone. He stopped at the side boards and passed the puck to Kaberle, who was open at the point. Kaberle sent a shot on net that deflected off of Devils forward Jay Pandolfo’s stick and went over Brodeur’s glove for Kaberle’s sixth goal of the season.

The Leafs are once again pressuring the Devils and forcing them into turnovers. Toronto has consistently put pressure on the Devils in the defensive zone and, if not for some strong play by Brodeur, the Devils might be losing this game.

Dainius Zubrus scored at 13:20 of the first period to put the Devils ahead, 1-0.

The play started with a pass from Devils defenseman Colin White, who sent a pass to the Maple Leafs blue line. The Maple Leafs were caught in a line change, and the puck rolled down into the zone. Gustavsson came to play the puck, but it went to Kovalchuk along the boards. Kovalchuk passed the puck to the slot, where the puck sat loose in front of the goal. Zubrus dove between two defenders and backhanded a shot by Gustavsson for his fourth goal of the season.

The assist is Kovalchuk’s first point as a New Jersey Devil.

The Devils outshot the Maple Leafs, 10-7, in the first period.

Toronto’s forecheck looks to be stumping the Devils so far, and the Leafs have forced several turnovers. Those turnovers have led to several good chances, but Toronto has misfired on several of those opportunities.

When Kovalchuk first stepped on the ice, the Devils crowd gave him a loud cheer. He’s been on a line with Jamie Langenbrunner and Dainius Zubrus.

Tonight is the first game for the Devils newest acquisition, Ilya Kovalchuk. The Devils traded for the left-winger Thursday, sending three players and two draft picks to the Atlanta Thrashers. The Devils also re-acquired D Anssi Salmela in the trade.

The Devils are mired in a 3-7-1 slump, and the Maple Leafs shut out the team, 3-0, in a game Tuesday night.

Toronto will start Jonas Gustavsson, who was pulled in his last start against the Devils (a 5-4 OT win for the Devils). Martin Brodeur will start for the Devils after getting the night off Tuesday.

This is the third game the Devils and Maple Leafs will play this season. That’s not a significant fact, but consider that it’s the third team in two weeks the two teams will face off. The Devils are 1-1 against the Maple Leafs this season.

Categories: Live Game Blogs
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