Landing punches, and scoring points

STEVE BUFFERY

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

Forward Andre Deveaux has been criticized for not dropping his gloves often enough since being called up from the Toronto Marlies on Nov. 26.

But, in reality, the Welland native has been one of the most active fighters in the NHL recently, having been in five scraps in the Leafs' past five games, including two Tuesday against Krys Barch of the Dallas Stars.

He also has earned a regular spot on Toronto's fourth line, while the team's other policeman, Ryan Hollweg, has been a healthy scratch the past three games.

The 6-foot-4, 217-pound Deveaux also picked up his first NHL point, an assist, in the Leafs' 8-2 loss to the Stars.

"I feel a lot more comfortable out there," Deveaux said of his recent play.

"I'm getting a little more confident to try some things while at the same time still doing my job. Hopefully I'll get in more games and get the comfort level a little higher and pop a few in."

One of the reasons Deveaux earned a callup was his ability to score from in front of the net, banging in six markers in 13 games for the Marlies.

Still, what the Leafs expect from him, more than anything else, is to keep other teams honest and to stick up for his teammates.

Although he admits he's not a heavyweight, Deveaux has won at least three of his six bouts since being called up, with another -- the second fight against Barch -- considered by most to be a draw.

"I'm willing to do that stuff, but it's not the only thing I can do. I've shown I can fight, and I can fight at this level," Deveaux said.

"But I also want to show I can put some points on the board and that's the next step for me."

Around the net

Defenceman Tomas Kaberle is on a hot streak, recording nine points in his past eight games ... In the loss to Dallas, Nik Antropov's point streak was halted at four games.


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