Leafs rally for win
TORONTO—Nazem Kadri and James Reimer kept Toronto in the game yesterday before the rest of the Maple Leafs came alive in the third period.
Kadri scored and added an assist while Reimer made 28 saves as Toronto earned a 4-2 come-from-behind victory over the struggling New Jersey Devils.
But Toronto trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes of play—despite Reimer making eight saves in the second.
“We talked amongst ourselves and pointed out that those first two periods really weren’t acceptable, and indicated on some of the things we needed to improve on,” noted Kadri.
“That’s really what it’s about coming in through the intermissions: it’s about re-setting and analyzing your 20 minutes of play,” he explained.
“We understood that we had to beat up on their defencemen a little bit and get pucks in behind them, and go to work that way.”
Clarke MacArthur, Jay McClement, and Phil Kessel—with his first goal on home ice this season—all scored in the third for Toronto (14-9-0), which has won two in a row.
Kadri assisted on MacArthur’s game-winning goal and leads the Leafs with 23 points in 23 games.
“We weren’t very happy with what we were doing for the first 40 minutes of the hockey game and we were fortunate that we were only down one goal,” said Leafs’ head coach Randy Carlyle.
“The tide had really turned and we were paralyzed at some points in the game.
“I think our goaltender gave us a chance and when we got to the room, we just made a decision that we had to start to change a few of the things that were going on out there or it was going to get worse,” he added.
“To their credit, they went out and did it,” Carlyle said.
Reimer got the start in Toronto’s net, making his first appearance on home ice since Feb. 11 as he recovered from a mild medial collateral ligament strain.
“I felt like I’ve had a couple good days of practice, kinda feel like I’m getting better, getting more comfortable with playing every day,” noted Reimer.
“It felt pretty good out there.
“It was good to have that third period that we did and be able to get the win,” he added.
Toronto is now in fifth in the East with 28 points—three ahead of New Jersey.
Elsewhere in the NHL, Pittsburgh beat Tampa Bay 4-3, Phoenix topped Anaheim 5-4 (SO), and L.A. dumped Nashville 5-1.