Matt Murray made 34 saves and the Toronto Maple Leafs benefited from three disallowed New Jersey goals while holding on for a 2-1 victory over the Devils, whose team-record-tying, 13-game winning streak ended Wednesday night in Newark, N.J.
John Tavares and rookie Pontus Holmberg scored in a span of 2:22 as the Leafs handed New Jersey its first loss since Oct. 24.
Nathan Bastian, Damon Severson and Erik Haula had goals disallowed as the Devils were unable to break the record established by the 2000-01 team. Dougie Hamilton scored late in the third period for New Jersey, which fell to 9-1-0 against Canadian teams this year.
Bastian’s deflection of a Jonas Siegenthaler shot was disallowed with 12:25 remaining in the first period due to goaltender interference. Severson had his goal disallowed with 15:08 remaining in the second because Tomas Tatar made more than incidental contact with Murray when the two collided behind the net.
Haula’s disallowed goal created a brief delay with 11:07 remaining. After Murray made a diving glove save on him, Haula appeared to score when he jammed his own rebound into the net, but replays showed he made a distinct kicking motion as the puck banked off Toronto forward Nicholas Robertson’s skate.
After officials reviewed the play and determined there was no goal, fans began throwing beer and other objects on the ice and the Maple Leafs briefly headed to their locker room. Haula tried to diffuse the situation by urging fans to stop throwing things.
Besides the disallowed goals, Murray was terrific all night, especially in the second period. He made 16 saves in that frame, including seven on a power play during a stretch where the Devils took 12 straight shots on goal and Toronto went over 10 minutes without a shot.
Hamilton ended Murray’s shutout bid with 5:08 remaining when he deflected a pass from Yegor Sharangovich after getting stopped six times. After Hamilton scored, Murray made diving saves on Nico Hischier and Jesper Bratt in the final 88 seconds after New Jersey pulled goalie Vitek Vanecek.
Vanecek made 18 saves, but two New Jersey turnovers resulted in both Toronto goals.
Tavares scored with at 11:41 of the first after getting a backhanded pass from Mitchell Marner, whose forecheck of Hamilton behind the net resulted in a giveaway.
Holmberg scored at 14:03 of the first on a partial breakaway after Tatar’s pass near the blue line banked off the skate of Toronto’s Alexander Kerfoot. The tally was the first for Holmberg, who was appearing in his sixth NHL game.