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IBM Gameday Preview

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
GAME: New Jersey Devils (21-11-2-3) at Toronto Maple Leafs (19-15-4-1).

TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.

The New Jersey Devils look to complete a sweep of their home-and-home series with the Toronto Maple Leafs as the teams meet at Air Canada Centre.

New Jersey took the front end of the two-game set at the Continental Airlines Arena on Friday as backup goaltender Corey Schwab made the best of a rare start by blanking Toronto 2-0.
Fitzgerald will be looking to get back at the Devils.
Graig Abel Photography


Schwab, who made 17 saves for his fifth career shutout, has played in just four of the Devils' 37 games this season behind Martin Brodeur.

"We all know the situation," Schwab said. "I don't have a problem with it. He is one of the best goalies in the game. Why wouldn't you want him in there as much as possible?" The Devils have gone 3-2-1 in their last six games despite scoring two goals or fewer in each of those contests.

The Maple Leafs suffered their first regulation loss in eight games (4-1-2-1).

Riddled with injuries to key players, Toronto did get Alexander Mogilny back after he missed one game with back spasms. The Leafs are still without centers Mats Sundin (sore shoulder) and Nik Antropov (upper arm injury) and defenseman Karel Pilar (flu).

To give the team some added depth for the next several games, Toronto called up forwards Alexei Ponikarovsky and Aaron Gavey from the St. John's Maple Leafs (AHL) on Friday.

Ponikarovsky was having a solid year at St. John's with 11 goals and 11 assists in 35 games.

STANDINGS: Devils - 47 points, 1st place, Atlantic Division. Maple Leafs - 43 points, 3rd place, 10 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Devils - Jamie Langenbrunner, 10 goals; Brian Rafalski, 18 assists; Elias, 21 points; Turner Stevenson, 65 PIM. Maple Leafs - Sundin, 18 goals; Mogilny, 25 assists and 41 points; Tie Domi, 74 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Jan. 2): Devils - Power play: 11 percent (15 for 136), 30th in NHL. Penalty killing: 87 percent (107 for 123), T-2nd. Maple Leafs - Power play: 20.4 percent (37 for 181), 5th. Penalty killing: 86.4 percent (172 for 199), 7th.

GOALTENDERS: Devils - Brodeur (19-12-2, 4, 2.01); Schwab (2-2-0, 1.29).

Maple Leafs - Ed Belfour (17-10-3, 5 SO, 2.01 GAA); Trevor Kidd (2-5-1, 3.74).

SEASON SERIES: Devils, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Friday; Devils, 2-0. At East Rutherford, Jari Bicek broke a scoreless tie midway through the second period, and Elias added an insurance goal with 1:29 remaining.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Devils - 9-5-1-2 on the road; Maple Leafs - 13-7-2-0 at home.
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