Kadri stays hot in Leafs' win over Devils

 

 
 
 
 
New Jersey Devils goaltender Johan Hedberg (1) keeps a close eye on Toronto Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri (43) as he chases down the puck during second period NHL action in Toronto on Monday March 4, 2013.
 

New Jersey Devils goaltender Johan Hedberg (1) keeps a close eye on Toronto Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri (43) as he chases down the puck during second period NHL action in Toronto on Monday March 4, 2013.

Photograph by: Frank Gunn, THE CANADIAN PRESS

TORONTO -- Nazem Kadri continued his point streak on Monday with a goal and an assist in the Toronto Maple Leafs' 4-2 victory over the struggling New Jersey Devils.

Clarke MacArthur, Jay McClement and Phil Kessel -- with his first goal on home ice this season -- all scored in the third period for Toronto (14-9-0), which has won two in a row. Kadri scored in the first and assisted on MacArthur's goal to earn points in his fifth straight game.

The 22-year-old Kadri leads the Leafs with 23 points in 23 games.

James Reimer got the start in Toronto's net, making his first appearance at Air Canada Centre since Feb. 11, as he recovered from a mild medial collateral ligament strain. He made 28 saves for the win.

Marek Zidlicky scored twice for New Jersey (10-7-5), which hasn't won in five games. Centre Ryan Carter assisted on both goals. Goalie Johan Hedberg stopped 19 shots for the Devils.

Toronto trailed 2-1 after the second intermission, but McClement tied it 2-2 just 39 seconds into the third. The centre stripped Patrik Elias deep in the Devils' zone and deked out Hedberg, putting the puck on his backhand and past the New Jersey goaltender.

MacArthur gave Toronto a 3-2 lead with a power-play goal at the 7:25 mark of the third. MacArthur put his own rebound between Hedberg's legs after the Devils' Andrei Loktionov took a tripping penalty.

Kadri earned his team-best 14th assist of the season on the play, while defenceman Cody Franson also earned a point.

Kessel piled on 2:30 later, scoring his fifth of the season to give the Leafs a 4-2 lead, as the 19,335 in attendance erupted.

Toronto was listless at the start of the game, but a pair of New Jersey penalties helped the Leafs find their rhythm for the second half of the first period.

Kadri opened scoring for Toronto just over 10 minutes into the game. The goal was a little fluky, as he shot from a wide angle, bouncing the puck off the inside of Hedberg's left pad and across the goal-line.

It was Kadri's ninth of the season, with assists from MacArthur and Leo Komarov.

The goal was sandwiched between Devils penalties to David Clarkson for interference and Alexei Ponikarovsky for slashing. After 20 minutes of play New Jersey had outshot the Leafs 8-5.

Toronto's momentum died during the first intermission, however.

Zidlicky tied it 1-1 at the 5:43 mark of the second. His wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle found its way through traffic and over Reimer's left shoulder.

A costly neutral-zone turnover by Leafs forward Frazer McLaren gave Zidlicky his second of the night nearly six minutes later. Zidlicky worked a 2-on-1 passing play with Ryan Carter, putting it past Reimer for a 2-1 Devils lead.

Toronto struggled throughout the second, with MacArthur and Kessel both missing out on breakaway opportunities. New Jersey controlled the play for much of the period, with the Devils outshooting the Leafs 10-5.

Notes: Veteran defencemen John-Michael Liles and Mike Komisarek were both healthy scratches for the Leafs. Earlier in the day, Toronto general manager Dave Nonis vehemently denied that Komisarek had requested a trade. ... Forwards Matt Frattin (knee) and Joffrey Lupul (fractured forearm) remain on Toronto's injured reserve. ... New Jersey defencemen Peter Harrold and Anthon Volchenkov were healthy scratches, while star goaltender Martin Brodeur remained on the IR with a sore back. The crowd cheered when it was announced before the game that Brodeur would not be playing. ... Willie O'Ree, the first black player in the history of the NHL was in attendance.

 
 
 
Font:
 
 
 
 
New Jersey Devils goaltender Johan Hedberg (1) keeps a close eye on Toronto Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri (43) as he chases down the puck during second period NHL action in Toronto on Monday March 4, 2013.
 

New Jersey Devils goaltender Johan Hedberg (1) keeps a close eye on Toronto Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri (43) as he chases down the puck during second period NHL action in Toronto on Monday March 4, 2013.

Photograph by: Frank Gunn, THE CANADIAN PRESS

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, and please keep your comments relevant and respectful. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report spam or abuse. We are using Facebook commenting. Visit our FAQ page for more information.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Your voice
How are you finding your favourite teams on Rogers new TV package?
 
Just fine, no problems
I am baffled by all the choices and the different channels
My team is blacked out sometimes
No worries, I have NHL Centre Ice
Doesn't matter, my team sucks