Toronto head coach Ron Wilson earned his 589th career win to pass former Devils, Wild and Canadiens head coach Jacques Lemaire to move into seventh place on the NHL’s all-time list. Wilson has earned 71 of his wins with the Leafs.
Dainius Zubrus netted the only goal for the Devils, who have lost two straight and four of their last five.
Martin Brodeur absorbed the defeat after allowing two goals on 20 shots before leaving the game with an undisclosed injury after the second period. Jonas Hedberg yielded a lone goal on seven third period shots.
After a scoreless first period, both teams found the back of the net in the middle session.
Grabovski one-timed a rebound from between the circles past Brodeur at 1:42 while on the power play to put the Leafs in front before Nazem Kadri made a slick cross-ice feed to Kessel, who beat Brodeur from the bottom of the left circle to make it 2-0 at 7:29.
Less than three minutes later, Ilya Kovalchuk found Alexander Vasyunov at the lower left circle and his pass in front for Zubrus was whiffed on but caromed off the toe of his skate past Gustavsson to trim the lead to one. The play was reviewed and the call on the ice was upheld.
The Leafs added another power play marker with 6:43 to go in the game.
Kadri made a clever cross-ice pass through traffic to Versteeg, who roofed a one-timer over Hedberg from the bottom of the left circle.
Gustavsson earned his first career win over the Devils in three games…Kadri had one career point in three games before Thursday…Brodeur dipped to 19-16-9 in 45 career meetings with the Leafs…Devils winger Patrik Elias played in his 899th career game…Toronto was 2-fo-3 on the power play while the Devils were 0-for-2…Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury.
(Sports Network) - Now that an eight-game losing streak is behind them, the Toronto Maple Leafs will try to post consecutive wins for the first time since the opening week of the season when they welcome the New Jersey Devils for tonight's battle at Air Canada Centre.
The Maple Leafs carried an 0-6-2 skid into Tuesday's home game against Nashville and outlasted the Predators for the 5-4 decision. It was Toronto's first victory since beating a visiting Florida club on Oct. 26. The Maple Leafs are still just 2-8-3 since they began the season with four straight wins from Oct. 7-15.
Toronto earned its victory over the Predators thanks in large part to the four power-play goals the Leafs scored in the second period. Kris Versteeg had two of those second-period markers, helping the Maple Leafs rally from a 3-1 deficit to beat Nashville, 5-4.
"It was a strange game to say the least and I'm glad we won," Toronto head coach Ron Wilson said. "It's one of those kinds of games that when you look back on it, hopefully it puts an abrupt stop to the slide we've been in and we can use it for momentum."
Maple Leafs netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere allowed four goals on 28 shots before he was replaced in the third period by Jonas Gustavsson, who stopped all six shots he faced over the final 13 minutes.
Giguere was lifted after complaining of a groin injury and Toronto's No. 1 netminder is expected to miss 1-to-2 weeks with the ailment. Gustavsson is expected to get the start tonight, while James Reimer, who was called up from the Toronto Marlies, will serve as the backup.
Tonight marks the close of a three-game homestand for the Leafs, who are 4-4-2 in Toronto this season.
New Jersey, meanwhile, enters tonight as one of only two teams below Toronto in the Eastern Conference standings and the Devils were recently shut out for the third time this month.
The Devils posted an overtime win over visiting Edmonton on Friday, but followed that performance with Monday's 3-0 setback in Boston. Tim Thomas turned aside all 28 shots he faced to record the shutout for the Bruins.
Martin Brodeur stopped 21 shots in defeat for the Devils, who have dropped five of their last seven (2-4-1).
Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner is expected to miss his third straight game tonight with an upper-body injury. Langenbrunner suffered the injury after falling head-first into the boards in a game last week against Buffalo. Defenseman Matt Taormina is also expected to sit out his second straight game with a foot injury.
New Jersey is 4-6-0 as the guest this year and is playing the middle portion of a three-game road trip tonight. The Devils will close the swing Saturday in St. Louis.
Toronto has won five of its last eight encounters with the Devils overall and New Jersey has dropped three out of four at Air Canada Centre.