The Devils sure could use Ilya Kovalchuk. Rookie Leo Komarov and Tyler Bozak scored, James Reimer made 27 saves, and the Maple Leafs held the Devils without a shot during a 64-second, two-man advantage to earn a 2-1 victory last night. The loss extended the reeling Devils’ losing streak to six games. The six-game skid is the second one this season for the Devils following an 8-1-3 start. The defending Eastern Conference champions have not won since top forward Kovalchuk injured his right shoulder. “There is some frustration in not winning,” coach Pete DeBoer said. “Whether we win 1-0 or 2-1, we have to find ways to win games. That’s the bottom line and that’s where the frustration lies. The solution has to come from within the room.” The Maple Leafs’ fourth win in five games strengthened their position in the tight Eastern Conference playoff race. Toronto is fifth in the East, seven points ahead of the 10th-place Devils, who are three points behind the eighth-place Islanders and the postseason cutoff. “You want to beat the teams that are trying to catch you and create a little more gap,” Bozak said. “We’re happy with the win, but we have a couple of more big games coming up with the Rangers and the Devils again, so it’s going to be key for us to get a few more wins and keep this thing going.” Toronto has 10 games remaining in the lockout-shortened season. The last time the Maple Leafs made the postseason was before the 2005 lockout season. “It was a big game for us,” said Reimer, who is 5-1-3 in his last nine appearances. “It kind of feels like a playoff game, so it was good for us to get the win, I thought the boys played great.” David Clarkson deprived Reimer of his second shutout in three games with a goal with 8:23 left, but the Devils fell to 0-3-3 in their last six games.
Devils still winless without Kovalchuk as losing streak hits six
New York Post | Apr 7