Only Darcy Tucker was able to beat Brodeur, preventing the superstar goalie from moving into a tie with Glenn Hall for third all-time in all-time shutouts. Brodeur, named the game’s first star, remains at 83, one behind Hall.
Jamie Langenbrunner and Patrik Elias had the goals for the low-scoring Devils, who improved to 12-6-1 despite sitting 27th in the NHL in goals per game.
The Leafs, who fell to 11-6-4, are perhaps beginning to feel the loss of captain and top scorer Mats Sundin, scoring only two goals in the past two games. Still, the Leafs peppered Brodeur, especially in the third period when they had 18 shots on goal, but could only solve him once.
Mikael Tellqvist was the surprise starter for Toronto after J.S. Aubin fell ill with the flu hours before the game.
Langenbrunner opened the scoring in a boring affair when he quickly turned around at the top of the faceoff circle and ripped a slapshot past Tellqvist with 3:09 to go in the second period.
Elias made it 2-0 at 12:16 of the third period with a flub of a shot that hit Leafs defenceman Brendan Bell and fluttered over a sprawled Tellqvist.
Tucker gave the home team some hope when his slapshot from just inside the blue-line beat Brodeur five-hole with 3:37 left in the third period, a strange way for Brodeur to lose the shutout after making much harder saves throughout the game.
Tough guys Cam Janssen and Wake Belak woke up a sleepy start with an entertaining bout, the Devils’ Janssen landing more blows in his league-leading eighth fighting major of the season.
The two teams went right back to boring hockey until Janssen yet again provided a wake-up call, drilling Tucker with a questionable hit that ignited a brief melee with all skaters on the ice grabbing on to each other.
Notes: Terry Sawchuk’s 103 shutouts are the most ever in NHL history, followed in second by George Hainsworth at 94 … Star centre Scott Gomez (groin) missed his seventh straight game for New Jersey … The Devils opened a five-game road trip which next takes them to Phoenix on Wednesday and Anaheim on Friday … No. 1 goalie Andrew Raycroft (groin) continue to make progress but he was out for a third straight game Saturday, Leafs coach Paul Maurice not wanting to rush him back. Captain Mats Sundin (elbow) missed his fourth straight game … The Leafs next play four games in six days, Monday at home to the Islanders, Wednesday at Buffalo, Friday at Washington and next Saturday at home to Boston.