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2/2-- Devils Game Recap

By: Brian Deakyne

Final Score: Toronto Maple Leafs (18-28-11) 3, New Jersey Devils (35-18-2) 0

1st Period Analysis: It was obvious early that the Toronto Maple Leafs were dressing a different team than last Friday, where they lost to New Jersey 5-4 in overtime. Instead, it was Nikolai Kulemin scoring his 11th goal of the season on a rebound of of Fredrik Sjostrom's initial shot, knocking it past Devils goaltender Yann Danis. Shortly after, another newcomer, Dion Phaneuf would win the Toronto fans over, getting in a fight with the Devils' Colin White. An eventful period that included two fights and three total power plays, all unsuccessful, would come to a close with the Maple Leafs leading the Devils 1-0.

2nd Period Analysis: In the second, the new-look-Leafs continued to impress the crowd at Air Canada Centre. Phil Kessel would score his 18th of the season to give the Leafs an early 2-0 lead when he banged home am Alexei Ponikarovsky shot. Later in the period, Lee Stempniak would score a power play goal, his 14th of the season, putting Toronto in complete control. Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who is making his first start as a Maple Leaf, has been perfect thus far, stopping all of New Jersey's 17 shots.

3rd Period Analysis: The third period in Toronto was rather uneventful. With the Maple Leafs in full control, Devils' head coach Jacques Lemaire threw out several third and fourth liners who don't get much ice time for the final bout vs Toronto. No goals were scored in back and forth hockey, and the game ended with the Maple Leafs winning, 3-0, with Giguere ending his Toronto debut with a shutout, compiling 28 saves.

The Final Tally: For the Toronto Maple Leafs, nothing feels sweeter than watching themselves, newly renovated, beat one of the perennial teams in the NHL. Thanks to several of their new players, the Leafs outplayed the first-place Devils on Wednesday night. For New Jersey, this is simply a sign of their continuous struggle, now 3-7-1 in their last 11 games. The Devils will host Toronto again on Friday night, a game that has now become a must-win.


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