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Leafs beat Devils in SO for first win since Winter Classic
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - James van Riemsdyk scored the lone goal of the shootout to send the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 triumph over the New Jersey Devils on Sunday at Air Canada Centre.
Van Riemsdyk opened the shootout with a nifty backhander past Cory Schneider before Jonathan Bernier turned aside all three New Jersey shooters to give the Leafs their first victory since claiming the Winter Classic.
Van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak each lit the lamp in regulation, while Bernier stopped 36 shots to help snap Toronto's four-game slide.
"We needed this bad," Bernier said. "We found a way. If that's what it takes to go into a shootout and get points and move on like this, it feels good for the confidence."
Adam Henrique and Ryane Clowe scored a goal apiece for the Devils, who extended their point streak to four games (2-0-2) despite the loss.
"I couldn't have drawn it up much better than how we played and the effort we got," New Jersey head coach Peter DeBoer said.
Schneider made 23 saves in defeat.
Bozak buried a rebound from in front with 4:07 left in the first to give the Leafs the lead, but Henrique responded with a wrister from the right circle with New Jersey on the power play 1:39 into the second to tie the game.
Toronto regained control with a power-play goal of its own at 5:56, as van Riemsdyk put home a rebound from the doorstep for a 2-1 lead.
However, Clowe got behind the defense and converted a breakaway with a backhander just 27 seconds later, giving him his first goal of the season and tying the game at 2-2.
Neither netminder blinked in the final frame, with Schneider stopping six shots and Bernier blocking seven to force overtime.
New Jersey outshot Toronto, 4-0, in the extra session.
Toronto has won six straight against New Jersey and is 7-0-2 over its past nine against the Devils overall ... Both teams went 1-for-4 on the power play ... Toronto's Phil Kessel had two assists.
01/13 00:03:37 ET