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Leafs Dropped By Devils

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs


TORONTO -
- Mike Cammalleri and Eric Gelinas scored power-play goals as the New Jersey Devils defeated Toronto 5-3 on Thursday night at Air Canada Centre to end the Maple Leafs' five-game point streak.

Stephen Gionta, Steve Bernier and Adam Henrique had the other goals for New Jersey (10-12-4).

Mike Santorelli, Nazem Kadri and Phil Kessel scored for the Maple Leafs (13-9-3), who hadn't lost in regulation since a 9-2 rout to Nashville on Nov. 18.

Both teams looked sluggish at the start of the game. There were several missed passes and some choppy neutral-zone play _ it took nearly four minutes for the first shot on goal to be recorded.

With Maple Leafs blue-liner Cody Franson off for interference, Gelinas scored his third goal of the season at 4:53. He fired a snapshot from the top of the faceoff circle that handcuffed Toronto netminder Jonathan Bernier.

The Devils kept the pressure on but Bernier was up to the task, making a pair of sliding pad saves to keep it a one-goal game.

Toronto's first decent shift came midway through the first period as David Clarkson's line provided some spark. Peter Holland had a couple of decent chances that Devils netminder Cory Schneider turned aside.

The Maple Leafs picked up the pace later in the frame. Santorelli had a great opportunity in front after a 3-on-2 rush but couldn't get it past Schneider.

Toronto controlled the play early in the second period and was rewarded at 5:37. Santorelli tipped in a Joffrey Lupul floater from the high slot for his fourth goal of the season.

The Devils answered a few minutes later. Bernier controlled the puck behind the Toronto net and made a nice pass to Gionta in front, who scored his first goal at 8:00.

The Maple Leafs tied it while shorthanded when Kadri potted his own rebound at 11:14. It was his seventh goal of the season.

Cammalleri restored New Jersey's lead at 16:48 with Lupul off after a boarding penalty. He scored his 11th goal by one-timing the puck after it hit the back boards and came out by the side of the net.

In the third period, Bernier gave the Devils a two-goal cushion at 6:12 with his second goal of the season. Henrique added an insurance goal, his seventh on the campaign, at 11:58.

Tuomo Ruutu took a tripping penalty at 17:56 and the Maple Leafs pulled Bernier for an extra attacker. Kessel potted his 13th goal at 19:25 after a scramble in front of the net.

Notes: The Maple Leafs continue their five-game homestand Saturday night against the Vancouver Canucks. The Devils return home Saturday to play the Washington Capitals. ... New Jersey forward Jaromir Jagr and defenceman Adam Larsson were scratched due to flu-like symptoms. Devils forward Patrik Elias sat out with a groin injury. ... The Toronto scratches were forward Leo Komarov (concussion) and defenceman Roman Polak (knee). ... Announced attendance was 18,887.

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