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Leafs bedeviled by New Jersey

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO (Ticker) -- Martin Brodeur was rested and more than ready to face the Toronto Maple Leafs.

After a rare night off, Brodeur stopped 32 shots and tormented former teammate Alexander Mogilny as the New Jersey Devils rallied for their fifth straight road win, 3-1 over the Maple Leafs.

Brodeur watched from the bench Friday as John Vanbiesbrouck and the Devils were beaten by Washington, 3-1. But he showed early he was sharp, stopping Mogilny on a pair of breakaways in the first half of the opening period.

He left Mogilny looking skyward with 4:50 left in the third when he slid left and made a sprawling stop of a wrist shot from the bottom of the right faceoff circle.

"I'm just a little frustrated, that's all," Mogilny said. "It's like, enough is enough."

"In his first two shifts, he had two breakaways and a shot from the slot," Brodeur said. "He's a good player, we miss him a lot here. What he's doing with the Leafs, he was doing with the Devils for two years. He's a guy you got to watch, and you figure we played with him so we know his game. And he's still able to get so many quality chances."

Mogilny was not the only Maple Leaf bedeviled by Brodeur, who made back-to-back point-blank saves on Robert Reichel midway through the second period.

Paul Healey and the Leafs couldn't hurdle the Devils.
(Credit: Graig Abel Photography)
Scott Gomez set up Bobby Holik's go-ahead goal late in the second period and scored an insurance tally on the power play in the third for New Jersey, which moved back into a tie with the New York Islanders for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

"Marty was on fire," Gomez said. "He's definitely the reason why we got two points."

The Devils also prevented Toronto from clinching a playoff spot.

Mats Sundin scored the lone goal for the Maple Leafs, who have lost two in a row for the first time since January 25-26.

"I thought our game was pretty good," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "We made some defensive errors, we got trapped on the 2-on-1, but our overall play was solid. It was two good teams fighting against each other. Alex probably had seven good scoring changes, three breakaways. If he puts those in, then maybe it's a different game."

Already without Curtis Joseph, the Maple Leafs lost third-string goaltender Tom Barrasso to what Quinn described as a "serious" hamstring injury.

"It occurred on the second goal," Barrasso said. "I was squeezing my legs together to try to make a save and felt my hamstring seize up. At first, I thought it was a cramp, but as I got up to stretch it, I realized it wasn't a cramp. I couldn't move around on it at all."

Barrasso was injured on the goal that put New Jersey ahead for good. Gomez carried down the left side and whipped a cross-ice pass to Holik, whose blast from the top of the right faceoff circle trickled between the goalie's pads. It was Holik's 24th goal and third game-winner.

Sundin put Toronto in front with 1:40 to go in the first period, scoring his 37th goal after teammate Jonas Hoglund stripped the puck from John Madden behind the net.

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