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Wellwood, Antropov help Leafs nip slumping Devils

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs got revenge and a needed victory.

Kyle Wellwood and Nik Antropov scored and enforcer Wade Belak got retribution for Toronto by fighting New Jersey's Cam Janssen in the Maple Leafs' 2-1 win over the Devils on Tuesday night.

The last time the teams played on March 2 at New Jersey, All-Star Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle sustained a concussion after a late hit from Janssen, who was suspended for three games.

Kaberle practiced Monday for the first time since the hit but missed his eighth straight.

Fans booed Janssen when he stepped on the ice for his first shift and after he sent Yanic Perreault into the boards with a crushing check. Belak and Janssen immediately dropped their gloves at the start of Janssen's second shift.

Belak landing several punches before Janssen connected at center ice. Fans chanted "Belak! Belak!" throughout the long bout.

"I came out and just kind of yelled at him and he looked at me, and it was time to go," Belak said. "My job is protect players like Kabby. He's not expected to go out there and fight. That's my job and I'm fine doing it."

Andrew Raycroft made 24 saves for the Leafs, who moved into a tie for eighth in the Eastern Conference with Carolina and Montreal.

Toronto captain Mats Sundin called it an "unbelievable fight."

"We lose one of our best players during this time of the season. I thought it was the appropriate thing to do and he did a great job," Sundin said.

Travis Zajac scored for the Atlantic Division-leading Devils, who have lost four of five.

Devils goalie Martin Brodeur gave Janssen credit for fighting.

"He's a great kid. He doesn't mean to hurt anybody. He plays his game. He was dealt with a certain talent and that's what he does," Brodeur said. "He felt really bad for what happened to Kaberle. He's been waiting for this for a long time. He knew he had to face the music and he did it like a man, that's good."

New Jersey's Jay Pandolfo lost the puck on a breakaway, and the Leafs brought it back up ice. Sundin made a drop pass to Wellwood, whose one-timer gave Toronto a 1-0 lead at 18:33 of the first.

Sundin recorded his 900th Toronto point with his second assist. Sundin failed to score on a wraparound, but Antropov put in the rebound at 6:01 of the third.

Just 48 seconds later, Zajac cut it to 2-1 by scoring on a rebound.

The Devils pulled Brodeur for an extra skater with 34 seconds left but failed to net the tying goal.

Game notes
Toronto is 4-3-1 without Kaberle. ... Brodeur is 12-14-1 with seven ties against the Leafs. Toronto is one of two teams (Vancouver) he doesn't have a winning record against. ... Belak didn't look he'd been in a fight. "I'm still beautiful. I'd like to have that modeling career when I'm done," he joked.