The New Jersey Devils have started strong despite injuries to their two biggest offseason acquisitions.
Having Martin Brodeur in net tends to offset a lot of problems.
Captain Jamie Langenbrunner will also be absent Wednesday night when Brodeur and the Devils try to avoid a third straight loss in their first meeting this season against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Devils added veterans Brian Rolston and Bobby Holik in the offseason in an effort to add some offense and depth up front.
Rolston, though, injured his right ankle against Atlanta on Oct. 16 and was placed on injured reserve on Monday. Holik broke his right pinky against Washington on Oct. 18 and underwent surgery three days later. He is expected to miss at least the next two weeks.
Langenbrunner injured his hip in Friday's 6-3 home loss to Philadelphia and is not expected to play Wednesday. Without three regular forwards, the Devils (5-2-1) on Tuesday recalled Nicklas Bergfors and Toronto native Matt Halischuk from AHL Lowell.
Bergfors played in one game last season while this will be Halischuk's NHL debut.
"You're putting younger kids in, but they're good players," Devils coach Brent Sutter told the team's official Web site. "It gives them an opportunity. We've lost two games in a row, and we've got some guys banged up, so it's a good time to see what they can do."
In what figures to be a record-breaking season for Brodeur, the 16-year veteran is showing no signs of slowing down.
Brodeur has played every minute of all eight games thus far, posting a 1.96 goals-against average and two shutouts. He is nine wins away from surpassing Patrick Roy as the NHL's all-time winningest goaltender.
Brodeur has led the Devils to four straight wins against the Maple Leafs (3-3-3), allowing six total goals in those games.
Zach Parise has been New Jersey's best forward, leading the team in goals (six) and points (11) while scoring a goal in each of his last four games. He has four goals in his last two contests versus Toronto.
The Devils lost both ends of a home-and-home series against previously winless Philadelphia over the weekend, falling 3-2 in overtime on Saturday.
"(The Flyers) are a really good team," Parise said. "They're going to be competitive all year. I don't think their record indicates anything about that team."
Toronto outplayed visiting Tampa Bay on Tuesday, but scored on only two of its 39 shots en route to a 3-2 loss.
Matt Stajan and Mike Van Ryn had goals for the Leafs, who failed to record a point for the second time in the last seven games (2-2-3).
"This is a game we easily should have had," Stajan said. "We know we've got to be better, we can't take bits and pieces of nights off, especially on home ice against a team that's been struggling like them."
Vesa Toskala played well in the loss, stopping 22 shots. He has allowed nine goals in his last five games after giving up 12 in his first three. Toskala has never beaten the Devils, going 0-3 with a 3.06 GAA.
Nik Antropov assisted on Stajan's goal for his team-high eighth point. Antropov has four goals and two assists during a five-game points streak.
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