Reimer SO sends Devils to 10th straight lossToronto Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer makes a save on New Jersey Devils left winger Steve Sullivan, right, during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Toronto, Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)
TORONTO (AP) -- James Reimer made 31 saves, and Phil Kessel snapped a scoreless tie late in the third period to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 2-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Monday night, despite recording only 12 shots.
Kessel broke the deadlock with a power-play goal at 13:28 of the third, and Jay McClement scored into an empty net with 36.6 seconds remaining to back the stellar goaltending of Reimer, who earned his third shutout of the season.
Toronto (24-14-5), aiming for its first postseason berth since 2004, is 9-1-4 in its past 14 games.
The Devils (15-17-10) lost for the 10th straight time (0-6-4) and were blanked for a second consecutive game, following their 2-0 home defeat to Ottawa on Friday. They haven't won since star forward Ilya Kovalchuk was injured.
New Jersey, the defending Eastern Conference champion, is in 11th place - six points below the postseason cutoff with only six games left.
Reimer kept the Maple Leafs in the game until Kessel scored with a quick shot that beat goalie Martin Brodeur short side.
After a scoreless first two periods, Reimer took over the game midway through the third. He stopped Adam Henrique with a great pad save, and after New Jersey's Andy Greene hit the post, Reimer robbed Patrik Elias from in tight.
After the Maple Leafs recorded just five shots through two periods, Dion Phaneuf put Toronto's sixth on net early in the third, eliciting sarcastic cheers from the home crowd.
James van Riemsdyk then fired a shot from the slot that Brodeur stopped with his glove.
Coming off a 5-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, the Maple Leafs didn't register a shot until just after the seven-minute mark of a sluggish opening period.
The Devils carried much of the play in the opening 20 minutes, outshooting Toronto 9-3. The three shots tied the Maple Leafs' lowest output in a period this season, which came in a 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Jan. 26.
Toronto set a new mark for shot futility with only two in the second period as the Devils played their usual tight-checking style against a Maple Leafs lineup that wasn't able to match New Jersey's desperation.
NOTES: A moment of silence was held before the national anthems for the victims of the bombings at the Boston Marathon earlier Monday. ... Maple Leafs LW Joffrey Lupul (concussion) missed his fifth straight game. Lupul practiced on Sunday and participated in Monday's pregame skate, but didn't take the warmup. ... Reimer has started 13 of 14 and eight straight. ... The 40-year-old Brodeur has 666 career wins, but hasn't earned one since March 23 against Florida. ... Kessel was selected as the NHL's second star of the week. He had five goals and two assists in three games.