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Nothing Settled, Again

Saturday, 08.11.2003 / 7:38 AM / News
Toronto Maple Leafs

At Devils: Score Sheet | Statistics

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Gary Roberts got an assist on his own goal and helped the Toronto Maple Leafs extend their unbeaten streak.

Roberts goaded Colin White into a penalty, then scored on the ensuing power play with 4:42 left in the third period as the Maple Leafs rallied for a 1-1 tie with the New Jersey Devils.

New Jersey's Corey Schwab appeared headed to a shutout in his season debut, but Roberts tangled with White, who took a roughing penalty with 5:04 remaining.

"We've taken our share of penalties," Roberts said. "We're trying to be smarter, be the hitter, not the retaliator."

Just 22 seconds later, Roberts cut along the goal line on the left side and flicked a backhander over the right shoulder of a crouching Schwab for his third goal of the season.

"I was thinking pass, but the 'D' kind of went off and gave me the lane," Roberts said. "I just tried to put it up. The 'D' was playing Alex (Mogilny)."

"It was a good shot," Schwab said. "I'm thinking he's going to pass it out. Not many guys make that shot."

The Devils had two solid chances to win in overtime, but Ed Belfour made a right pad stop on Patrik Elias on a 2-on-1 with 2:47 left and defenseman Scott Niedermayer curled a shot off the left goalpost in the final minute.

"It would've been nice to have gotten (Schwab) the win, especially the way he played," Niedermayer said. "But they came at us really aggressive, which they usually do. A few times, we didn't do well, a couple of turnovers."

Belfour finished with 21 saves for Toronto, whose 2-0-1 stretch matches its longest without a loss this season.

"It was one of those nights where the puck wasn't bouncing for either team," Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. "It was really bouncing, it was all over the place. It was a hard game to play because nothing was smooth at all."

Jamie Langenbrunner was credited with the lone goal for New Jersey, which had a four-game winning streak snapped.

"It's one of those games where you really couldn't get a feel for it," Langenbrunner said. "It was tough for both teams. ...

We'll take (nine points) every five games."

In addition to resting Vezina Trophy winner Martin Brodeur for the first time this season, the Devils were without captain Scott Stevens, who sat out due to a death in the family. But Schwab nearly blanked his former team for the second time in as many seasons.

Two of his biggest stops came on Owen Nolan as Schwab sprawled to stop him on a breakaway during a power play midway through the second period, then scrambled to get the tip of his glove on a blast from the right faceoff dot with just under 12 minutes to go in the third.

"I kind of had it in my mind he'd take that shot," Schwab said.

"It was kind of a desperation play. I was just able to react."

Belfour also made several key saves. He dived and denied Brian Gionta from alone in front just three minutes into the first period, got his right pad on Turner Stevenson's one-timer from the left circle early in the third and made another right pad stop on Patrick Elias midway through overtime.

The Leafs got lucky when Elias put a rebound off the right post late in the first period, then had his shot glance off the crossbar with 6:19 to go in the second.

"Schwabie was good, but Belfour made some pretty good saves, too," Quinn said.

The Devils had just four shots in the second period but made one of them count. With just over five minutes to go, Langenbrunner sent a pass from the right corner into the crease.

Belfour got a piece, but New Jersey's Christian Berglund appeared to push the puck off the goalie's left leg and into the net.

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