National Hockey League action on Thursday evening and the Atlantic Division will square off with the Metro Division as the Toronto Maple Leafs grapple with the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The Maple Leafs enter this game off a 4-0 home loss to the Predators, while the Devils are off a 5-1 road loss to the Sabres.
Leafs Get Blanked By The Preds At Home
The Toronto Maple Leafs have been one of the best offenses in the league this year, but that offense has struggled some of late. The Leafs enter this game off a 4-0 home loss to the Predators and it was the 2nd time in their last four games that they have been blanked. The Toronto offense has produced just eight goals over their last four games after hanging up 27 goals in their previous five games. Toronto has now lost three of their last four games and while they are in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division, they are still 12 points out of first. Leading the team in scoring has been John Tavares with 27, while Auston Matthews is 2nd with 20 and Mitchell Marner is 3rd with 15. The Maple Leafs have gone 14-6 on the road and they have averaged 4.00 gpg and have allowed 3.05 gpg in those games.
Taking the loss was Michael Hutchinson, who allowed four goals on 32 shot attempts to fall to 2-5 with a 3.49 GAA and a .878 save percentage on the year, including 1-2 with a 3.00 GAA and a .904 save percentage in his home games. In his career, he has gone 2-0 with a 1.00 GAA against the Devils. Hutchinson continues to get the starts while both Andersen and Sparks are on the mend. Toronto checks in at 8th in the league in power play conversions at 22.3 ppg and 17th in penalty kill at 79.8%.
And Another Road Loss For The Devils
The Buffalo Sabres have been a mess of late, but they were able to rise up and take down the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. That game was in Buffalo and the Sabres won it by a score of 5-1, which sent the Devils to their 18th loss in 23 road games on the year. If the Devils miss the postseason, it will be due to their play on the road. Here at home, the Devils have gone 11-8 and they have averaged 3.26 gpg and have allowed 2.68 gpg in those games. Far better than their 5-18 mark away from home. The Devils had a 1-0 lead over the Sabres after one, but Buffalo walked away with a win thanks to scoring five goals in the 2nd. Scoring their lone goal was Blake Coleman, which was his 13th of the year.
Absorbing the loss was Keith Kinkaid, who allowed five goals on 33 shot attempts to fall to 13-18 with a 3.07 GAA and a.898 save percentage on the year, including 9-8 with a 2,77 GAA and a .905 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 1-4 with a 3.29 GAA against the Maple Leafs. New Jersey enters this contest ranked 19th in power play conversions at 18.4% and 2nd in penalty kill at 85.3%.
New Jersey is:
- 23-50 in their last 73 vs. a team with a winning % above .600
- 3-10 in their last 13 vs. the Atlantic
- 8-0 in their last 8 games playing on 2 days rest
- 42-19 in their last 61 vs. a team with a losing recor