for this game

Madden nets two in return as Devils edge Maple Leafs

Jan 21, 2008 - 2:46 AM
By Daren Smith PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEWARK, New Jersey (Ticker) -- John Madden is one of the NHL's premier checking forwards. But his return to the lineup revived the dormant offense of the New Jersey Devils.

Madden scored his first two goals in nearly a month and the Devils held on for a 3-2 victory Sunday over the Toronto Maple Leafs, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.

New Jersey was coming off consecutive home losses in which it totaled two goals - both by Travis Zajac. Madden missed both of those contests with an ankle laceration but came back to help the Devils defeat the Maple Leafs for the second time in as many meetings this season.

"(Madden) really stepped up tonight and got two big goals," Zajac said. "We definitely missed him when he was out of the lineup. It's important to get that veteran leadership back."

"He's such an important player because he plays so many important minutes in a hockey game," added Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, who made 34 saves.

New Jersey broke open a scoreless game with two goals in the final 2:32 of the second period. The red-hot Zajac put a rebound past goaltender Andrew Raycroft at 17:28 for his 11th goal of the season and sixth in the last nine games.

"I'm just trying to get to the front of the net, and that's where the puck's been," Zajac said. "It's just a matter of being in the right place at the right time."

With 13 seconds to go in the session, Madden carried down the left side on a 2-on-1 and held the puck as long as possible before throwing it into the crease. With Brian Gionta crashing the net, the puck appeared to hit Raycroft and trickle in.

Madden was credited with his 12th goal and first since December 29.

The Devils extended their lead just under four minutes into the third. After fanning on a shot, captain Jamie Langenbrunner was able to push the puck back to the blue line to defenseman Paul Martin.

Martin's wrist shot hit the leg of Madden, who was tied up in front with Toronto's Nik Antropov, and trickled past Raycroft.

"I played hockey," Madden said matter-of-factly. "I kept it simple. And sometimes when you keep it simple, you play your best hockey. I actually thought I was pretty average in my own zone, but Marty bailed me out and Whitey (defenseman Colin White) bailed me out."

New Jersey's rare three-goal cushion lasted exactly a minute.

Rookie Jiri Tlusty carried down the left wing and whipped a pass into the slot, where it hit the left skate of Darcy Tucker as he drove to the net and caromed past Brodeur. It was Tucker's sixth goal of the season.

Toronto made things interesting when defenseman Pavel Kubina notched an unassisted tally with 11:31 remaining.

The 30-year-old veteran was denied on a wraparound attempt at the left goalpost, but the rebound deflected off Devils defenseman Karel Rachunek and came back to Kubina, who shot it past Brodeur's blocker from the left faceoff circle for his fourth goal of the season and second in four games.

The Maple Leafs' attempt to get the equalizer in the waning moments failed, as Brodeur turned aside Alex Steen's one-timer from the right circle with 10 seconds remaining.

"The puck went from Kabby (All-Star defenseman Tomas Kaberle) to Kubie (Kubina), but (Brodeur) read the play," Steen said. "I had a little hole (to shoot at) there, but it kind of hit the post and his skate."

Toronto was denied a fourth straight win, which would have matched a season high. The Maple Leafs fell to 2-8-2 in their last 12 road games amid speculation regarding the futures of general manager John Ferguson and coach Paul Maurice.

"I just hope there are no guys sitting around, worrying about what's going on off the ice," Toronto captain Mats Sundin said. "If we sit and wait ... we're in trouble. We have to worry about taking care of things on the ice."






  • 10
    roots
    DanSportsfan Added 5 roots

    Maple Leafs vs. DevilsJan 22 11:06 PM


  • ** CONFIRMED **
    NHL
    TORONTO 2
    NEW JERSEY 3

    Jan 20 7:45 PM


  • ** CONFIRMED **
    NHL
    TORONTO 2
    NEW JERSEY 3

    Maple Leafs vs. DevilsJan 20 7:45 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 0
    NEW JERSEY 3
    3RD PRD: NJD - JOHN MADDEN 14 (PAUL MARTIN, JAMIE LANGENBRUNNER) 3:54

    Maple Leafs vs. DevilsJan 20 6:55 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 0 0
    NEW JERSEY 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NJD - TRAVIS ZAJAC 11 (KAREL RACHUNEK, JOHNNY ODUYA) 17:28
    NJD - JOHN MADDEN 13 (ZACH PARISE, COLIN WHITE) 19:47
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TOR 10 1

    Jan 20 6:29 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 0
    NEW JERSEY 2
    2ND PRD: NJD - JOHN MADDEN 13 (ZACH PARISE, COLIN WHITE) 19:47

    Maple Leafs vs. DevilsJan 20 6:29 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 0
    NEW JERSEY 1
    2ND PRD: NJD - TRAVIS ZAJAC 11 (KAREL RACHUNEK, JOHNNY ODUYA) 17:28

    Maple Leafs vs. DevilsJan 20 6:26 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 0
    NEW JERSEY 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TOR 10 10
    NJD 16 16
    GOALIES: TOR - ANDREW RAYCROFT
    NJD - MARTIN BRODEUR

    Jan 20 5:38 PM
  • 5
    roots
    OddyOh Added 5 roots

    Maple Leafs vs. DevilsJan 20 11:12 AM