Devils-Leafs: Martin Brodeur Brilliant as New Jersey Downs Toronto

Dino MoriAnalyst IMarch 5, 2008

A 42-shot performance against a future Hall of Fame netminder wasn't enough for the home side at the Air Canada Center on Tuesday.

Martin Brodeur stole the show between the pipes as the visiting New Jersey Devils won for the first time in four games, upending the hosting Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-1.

Over 19,000 fans witnessed Brodeur hold another goaltending clinic as he made 18 saves in the final period to preserve New Jersey's road victory.

Brodeur was particularly sharp in the first when he was called upon to make several key stops on Mats Sundin, Jason Blake, and Tomas Kaberle in close.

Despite having been outshot 14-5 in the opening stanza, New Jersey led 1-0 on a goal by Zach Parise.

Parise was johnny-on-the-spot, jumping on a loose puck in front of Toronto goalie Vesa Toskala to register his 26th goal of the season.

He would later get his 27th of the campaign finishing off a terrific feed from teammate Patrik Elias with just over nine minutes to go to give the Devils the 4-1 lead.

The back-breaking goal from a Leafs’ perspective came at 9:21 in the third when David Clarkson re-directed John Madden's centering pass past Toskala to put the Devils ahead 3-1.

The insurance marker was the result of a 3-on-2 rush, after Maple Leafs forward Dominic Moore was wallpapered into the boards from behind by a Devils defenseman and the play went the other way.

Brian Gionta scored on a Devils power play in the second for New Jersey's other goal, while Nik Antropov was the lone Leaf to beat Brodeur.

Left winger Alexei Ponikarovsky made a return to the Maple Leafs’ lineup, after sitting out the past four games with a bruised rib.  He played just over 14 minutes and didn't register a point.

With the loss, Toronto failed to gain ground on the eighth place Philadelphia, who lost 5-2 to Buffalo.  The Leafs remained six points behind the Flyers and sit 12th place in the Eastern Conference with 68 points.

Toronto travels to Boston tomorrow to play the Bruins with 14 games to go in the season.  Then, in an odd scheduling quirk, they will host the Devils again on Saturday.