TORONTO (AP) — James van Riemsdyk scored on a low wrist shot in the shootout to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.
Cory Schneider stopped Toronto's Mason Raymond and Phil Kessel before van Riemsdyk's goal. Adam Henrique then fired wide for the Devils.
Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier bested Michael Ryder and Travis Zajac had Bernier beat but hit the post. Bernier had 34 saves through the overtime.
Schneider made a great save on Kessel on a Leafs 3-on-1 in an exciting overtime to help force the shootout. Schneider finished with 27 saves.
Kessel scored on the power play at 8:12 of the third period to open the scoring.
It was a marvellous solo rush for the Maple Leafs' forward who skated through past Devils players before beating Schneider between the legs. Kessel's 10th goal of the season ended Toronto's scoreless stretch of almost 110 minutes.
It looked like Kessel's goal might be enough until Bernier, who had been excellent, seemed to misplay a shot from the right flank from Ryder, with the puck angling high off the goalie's stick into the net on a Devils power play with 4:45 remaining in regulation. Ryder got credit for his fifth of the season.
The Leafs came into the game fifth in the league on the power play and finished 1 for 6 in man-advantage opportunities.
Bernier, who stopped 41 of 43 shots in Calgary last time out, had to be sharp to keep the Leafs in it as Toronto was outshot 35-28 — the 13th straight game and 14th in 16 this season that the opposition has outshot the Leafs.
Toronto has now won five of its last seven. The Leafs were well-rested, having not played since a 4-0 loss in Vancouver last Saturday.
The Devils were coming off a 3-0 win in Philadelphia on Thursday, with Martin Brodeur posting a 22-save shutout — the 122nd of his career. New Jersey had lost its two previous games, both shutouts.
With centers Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland both injured, van Riemsdyk shifted from wing to center Joffrey Lupul and Kessel on Toronto's top line. His last duty at center was at the University of New Hampshire.
The line had plenty of ice time, thanks to a parade of New Jersey penalties, but seemed to overcomplicate the buildup some times.
Former Devils player David Clarkson almost scored on the Leafs' first shot, cruising in from the slot while protecting the puck from a New Jersey defenseman. His shot got past Schneider but a Devils player poked it away before it could trickle over the line.
Toronto had several glorious chances to go ahead on a power play late in the first period that started with a four-minute high-sticking penalty to New Jersey's Mattias Tedenby and turned into a 44-second 5-on-3 when Peter Harrold was called for tripping.
The Leafs came very close but could not take advantage.
Toronto had a sluggish start to the second period with an overly elaborate Kessel continuing to give the puck away. Bernier had to be sharp on several occasions as Toronto, after outshooting the Devils 8-7 in the first period, was outshot 15-8 in the second.
Devils forward Stephen Gionta was helped off the ice in the second period after sliding awkwardly into the boards.
NOTES: The game marked the first Friday night home contest in Toronto since Dec. 23, 2005 — a 2-1 win over Boston. It also represented Randy Carlyle's 82nd game as Toronto coach. He came in with a 42-31-8 record. ... The Leafs won all three regular-season meetings with the Devils last season.