NEWARK, N.J. - Rookie defenceman Jon Merrill set up a second-period breakaway goal by Patrik Elias and scored 32 seconds later to lead the New Jersey Devils to a much-needed 3-2 win over Toronto on Sunday night, sending the struggling Maple Leafs to their fifth straight loss.
Damien Brunner also scored and Cory Schneider had 21 saves as the Devils gave their slim playoff hopes a boost by winning for the second time in six games.
Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
TONIGHT ON NHL NETWORK
5:00 ET: NHL Live Powered by Constellation 7:00 ET: NHL Tonight