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game recap

Maple Leafs rally for shootout win against Devils

Toronto's Babcock gets win in 1,000th game as NHL coach

by Mike Brophy / Correspondent

Parenteau roofs SO goal

NJD@TOR: Parenteau snipes top-shelf SO goal

2/4/16: Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau snaps a wicked top-shelf shot past Keith Kinkiad for the first goal of the shootout

  • 00:34 •

TORONTO -- Mike Babcock celebrated his 1,000th game as an NHL coach with a victory when the Toronto Maple Leafs rallied for a 3-2 shootout win against the New Jersey Devils at Air Canada Centre on Thursday.

PA Parenteau scored the only goal of the shootout, and goaltender James Reimer stopped all three New Jersey shooters.

Babcock said getting the win in his 1,000th game was nice but was no more special than any other victory he has enjoyed as an NHL coach. Three Toronto players also reached games-played milestones: Defenseman Dion Phaneuf played his 800th NHL game; right wing Joffrey Lupul played his 700th and center Nazem Kadri played his 300th.

"Don't get me wrong; I'm proud that it's my 1,000th game, and I am proud for Dion, [Lupul] and [Kadri]," he said. "But to me, you just want to win the game. It's the day, it's the game you are playing and you want to win."

Video: NJD@TOR: Reimer denies Stempniak in shootout for win

If winning a milestone game wasn't a big deal for Babcock, it was a little icing on the cake for some of his players.

"Whenever it's a milestone game it is always nice when you end it on a winning note," Reimer said.

Babcock said he was pleased his team was able to come back after being behind twice.

"If you look at both teams tonight, it didn't look like anybody was going to score," Babcock said. "It's just a clog-fest, or whatever you want to call it. I thought we had opportunities and we didn't finish. We don't finish great in general. You watch our power play and we get good chances, but we don't always finish on our power play. Most of the games we play are pretty tight."

Video: Tyler Bozak ties the game at 2-2

Babcock made the biggest move of the game to help Toronto tie the game late in the third period.

With his team trailing 2-1, Babcock pulled Reimer for an extra attacker with 2:12 remaining. The move paid off when Tyler Bozak took a perfect feed from Peter Holland in the high slot and beat Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid six seconds later.

Parenteau then scored in the second round of the tiebreaker, snapping a shot over Kinkaid. He said he knew exactly what he was going to do in the shootout.

"That's my only move," Parenteau said. "It is the only move I use. I'm about 50 percent in my career, with it so I keep going with it and I keep surprising goalies so I don't see why I'd change it."

Video: NJD@TOR: Matthias redirects Bozak's feed to even game

Reimer ended the game when he stopped Lee Stempniak's backhand shot to give Toronto (19-22-9) its second straight win. The Maple Leafs play their next five games on the road.

New Jersey (26-20-6) hosts the League-leading Washington Capitals on Saturday.

"I think it was a valuable point to gain tonight. It was a tough, hard-fought game," Devils coach John Hynes said. "I thought both teams competed real well and found a way to be able to get a point out of it. However, we didn't necessarily play our best. We'll take it and we've got to make sure we're better going into Washington."

Jacob Josefson gave the Devils a 1-0 lead 4:16 into the game with his third goal of the season. He snapped a low shot from the top of the faceoff circle that hit Reimer's glove and bounced into the net. The goal came nine seconds after Maple Leafs defenseman Matt Hunwick was penalized for delay of game for shooting the puck over the glass.

Video: NJD@TOR: Josefson opens the scoring on the power play

The Maple Leafs tied it at 8:34, three seconds after the Devils killed off a tripping penalty to center Travis Zajac, when Shawn Matthias redirected a Bozak's pass past Kinkaid from the top of the crease for his fifth goal of the season.

Defenseman David Schlemko put New Jersey back in front at 6:27 of the third period when he beat Reimer with a slap shot from the right point that caught the far top corner for his sixth of the season. The Maple Leafs challenged the goal, contending that Reimer had been interfered with, but the goal stood after a review.

New Jersey's Kyle Palmieri, who leads the Devils in goals with 20, was disappointed at losing the extra point that was up for grabs in overtime and the shootout.

Video: NJD@TOR: Kinkaid gets the pad down to stone Grabner

"It always [stinks] to lose in a shootout," he said. "It was there for the taking. All the points are huge right now so it's disappointing. We had our chances. We were up a goal with eight minutes to go and even with two minutes to go and we had the empty net to shoot at. It just sucks. It's not fun, especially in the shootout, but it's on to the next one."

Reimer said winning a tight game against a solid defensive team like the Devils is important to the Maple Leafs.

"Let's face it, there's going to be games like this in the future that we might lose, but it's always learning, growing and getting better," Reimer said. "It's a process. We're on the road to becoming great and it is games like this that are important because you realize the resiliency and character you do have and you can build on those things."

Video: Leafs rally, top Devils on Parenteau's shootout goal

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