Devereaux, signed to a pro tryout agreement with the Marlies Oct. 7, scored his first three goals of the season to lead Toronto to a 4-2 win over the Milwaukee Admirals in front of 2,172 at Ricoh Coliseum.
“It was a long time coming,” said Devereaux, who attended training camp with the Detroit Red Wings before signing with the Maple Leafs’ American Hockey League affiliate. “I was getting pretty frustrated, but when you get one, they seem to come easier.
“I was trying to concentrate on just getting chances, trying to put the work in, and hoping it would come eventually. It finally did.”
Alex Foster also scored for the Marlies (8-10-2-1), who won for the third time in their last four games. John Vigilante had both goals for Milwaukee (7-11-2-0 ), which dropped its third straight.
Marlies coach Greg Gilbert was pleased to see Devereaux’s efforts pay off on the scoresheet.
“He’s been working very, very hard,” Gilbert said of the 28-year-old Devereaux, who has 509 NHL games to his credit. “He’s had a lot of opportunities, but he’s been snakebitten a bit.
“It’s good to see him rewarded for his hard work, and hopefully it will continue.”
The Marlies jumped out to a 1-0 lead at the 8:27 mark of the first period, when centre Foster scored his first goal of the season. Milwaukee drew even on Vigilante’s goal less than two minutes later, but Devereaux’s goal at 17:58 put the home side up 2-1 after 20 minutes of play.
Toronto extended its lead after Devereaux’s second goal of the game at 4:06 of the second period, but Vigilante scored 15 seconds later to make it 3-2 Marlies heading into the third.
Devereaux added an empty-net goal with .04 seconds remaining in regulation to secure the win.
Admirals Karl Goehring (3-6-0) made 30 saves in the loss, while Toronto’s Jean-Francois Racine stopped 26 shots to improve to 3-4-1 this season.
Notes: Assigned to the Marlies earlier in the day on a conditioning stint, Toronto defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo had an assist on Devereaux’s first goal. Colaiacovo was playing in his first game since breaking a finger in an AHL contest Oct. 22 . . . Forward Tyson Nash, acquired Tuesday from Phoenix in the deal that made Mikael Tellqvist a Coyote, was not in the Marlies lineup. He is expected to arrive in Toronto Thursday and play Friday when the Marlies visit the Hamilton Bulldogs.