Pregame: Devils Look to Continue to Right the Ship Versus Leafs

Hischier tries to score against the Leafs.

Hischier tries to score against the Leafs. Photo Credit to Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP

Writer’s Twitter: @ChrisMottHockey

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Preview

The New Jersey Devils will continue to try and turn this season around tonight at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs. While the Devils have still struggled to win consistently, they have earned at least a point in five out of their last seven games, but only two of those have been from a win. Looking at the situation with that perspective gives a little positivity to Devils fans.

The Leafs are one of the most talented squads in the league with players like Auston Matthews, John Tavares, etc…The Devils placed Cory Schneider on IR due to an abdominal injury and called up MacKenzie Blackwood to backup Keith Kinkaid for the time being, so the net is Kinkaid’s for now. Blackwood may get the chance to start but most likely not against the Leafs tonight, and it would be interesting to see how the former top-rated North American Goaltender in the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau for the 2015 NHL Draft performs.

Taylor Hall also appears to be making his return to the lineup tonight from injury, which only helps the Devils cause. They play five out of their next seven games at home against some strong teams in the league and every point towards the standings is crucial during this time of the season.

Taylor Hall set career-highs with 39 goals and 93 points in the 2017-2018 season. -NJ.com

In order to be successful against the Maple Leafs, the Devils need to limit Toronto’s chances offensively with solid defensive zone coverage and staying out of the penalty box. The Devils also need to be able to beat Frederik Andersen, which they seemed to struggle with last time they played the Leafs. If Kinkaid and the Devils can limit Toronto’s chances, they will really give themselves a better chance of winning tonight’s game.

The game is at 7PM ET and can be seen on MSG+ and TSN4.

Devils Projected Lines

Hall – Hischier – Palmieri

Johansson – Zacha – Bratt

Wood – Zajac – Coleman

Boyle – Seney – Quenneville

 

Greene – Severson

Butcher – Vatanen

Mueller – Lovejoy

 

Kinkaid

Blackwood

 

Leafs Projected Lines

Hyman – Tavares – Marner

Johnsson – Matthews – Kapanen

Marleau – Kadri – Nylander

Ennis – Lindholm – Brown

 

Reilly – Hainsey

Gardiner – Zaitsev

Dermott – Ozhiganov

 

Andersen

Sparks

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