A night after being eliminated from playoff contention, the Maple Leafs didn't have the same energy or enthusiasm. They were behind 1-0 after the opening 20 minutes and it didn't get better in the second.
Late in the middle stanza, Ilya Kovalchuk made a great pass to Mattias Tedenby who whistled the one-timer past James Reimer. Just 1:05 later, Adam Mair threw the puck in front and Henrik Tallinder was wide open and blasted the puck home putting the Devils up 3-0.
Saves for J.S. Giguere who entered the game in the third.
Leafs in team history to score a goal 3-on-5 (Bozak & Sittler).
After a slow first half of the season, Kovalchuk has turned it on and with his first-period goal, he hit the 30-goal plateau for the eighth straight season. He is a dynamic player when he wants to be and he was a handful for the Leafs on Wednesday.
In his 700th NHL game, he not only scored the opening goal, but he made a great pass to Tedenby in the second. His ice-time of 28:42 was a season high and he had six shots on net to lead both teams.
It was a tough night for the Leafs but one player who gave his all was Phil Kessel. The Leafs' sniper had several chances that tested Martin Brodeur and it appeared that his point streak was in jeopardy.
Early in the final period, Joffrey Lupul set up Kessel for his 31st goal of the season and his 10th point in the last nine games. He also took over the points lead on the team. It was Lupul's sixth point in four games as well. Kessel had five shots and played 17:10.
With the loss to the Devils, the Leafs finished their 2010-11 road portion of their schedule. Toronto ended the season with a 19-19-3 record which is the most road wins the Leafs have had since 2006-07 when they also ended the season with 19 wins.
The Leafs' road record since January was very impressive. They had just five wins away from the ACC before January and after that point they went 14-9-2 to finish the season in many pressure packed games.