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After defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs hopped on a plane and headed for New Jersey, a team on the fringes of maybe, possibly, making the playoffs (not really) who will play to make things harder for their divisional opponents, and try to keep the Maple Leafs from obtaining two important points.

Joseph Woll took the net with Martin Jones backing him up, Ilya Samsonov was left home in Toronto after playing the previous game.

It was a flashback to the old New Jersey Devils to start the game, with the Maple Leafs unable to get a shot in the first five minutes, the hosts only testing Woll twice.

Matthew Knies shows his youthful energy and the ability of the young to rebound easily, when he skates into the Devils end, fighting along the boards, almost getting a breakaway shot off, but he's pokechecked at the last second. Noah Gregor pounces on the rebound but Jake Allen makes the save. The Leafs have a shot on goal at 13:59.

The Maple Leafs feed off the confidence of getting some offense in, and their first bit of offensive zone play sees William Nylander control the puck, get it back to Morgan Rielly who shoots, and then Nick Robertson gets the rebound to give the Leafs the lead.

1-0 Maple Leafs.

It's not all Leafs all the time though, the Devils are still playing like these final four games matter, and Nico Hischer scores his 27th of the season off a loooooong stretch pass from across the neutral zone to tie the game.


The Leafs get a shot at a comeback when Simon Nemec is called for interfering with Matthew Knies with under four minutes left in the first.

No goal of the first powerplay, but the Devils are nice enough to give the Leafs another chance after Timo Meier gets called for tripping Matthew Knies, who is a penalty drawing machine tonight.

The first period ends with a tie game, and the Leafs will begin the second on the power play with 1:11 remaining.

Fresh legs jump right into the powerplay coming out of intermission, William Nylander sets up Auston Matthews right in front of the net, but Jake Allen is able to get the pad out just in time to deny him goal number 66.

Back to back powerplays for the Leafs, and no goals in either.

Matthew Knies' line takes the ice after the man advantage ends, and they spend their shift in the offensive zone, with Knies on a mission to get the lead back. He's pushing, shoving, fighting for the puck and getting shot attempts. The Devils defense clusters around him, but he holds his own. He deserved a goal on this shift, but was denied.

Nico Hischer gets the puck across the centre line for the first time this period after three and a half minutes, but is stripped of the puck inches across and the Devils lose possession.

After drawing two penalties, Matthew Knies is called for one of his own when he is called for slashing five minutes into the first. The Leafs penalty kill gets their first test of the evening.

The Devils do in seconds wheat the Leafs couldn't in minutes. Dawson Mercer gets a rebound around the leg of a sprawled out Joseph Woll.

2-1 Devils.

The Leafs aren't giving the Devils much to work with after this goal. Lots of O-zone time, Mark Giordano stops a breakaway attempt by snagging the pass, and the defense is catching the puck in the neutral zone plenty, and dumping it back into the Devils end.

Max Domi sends Auston Matthews in alone, then Pontus Holmberg gets a break away, but Allen makes the save both times.

After back to back big saves from Allen, the Leafs more than make up for it.

First, Tyler Bertuzzi gets his 20th of the season:

Then Mark! Giordano! scores from the blueline:

And just like that it's 3-2 Maple Leafs.

Chris Tierney tries to wedgie Noah Gregor and gets two for holding, so the Maple Leafs get their third powerplay of the game. This is also the first penalty of the game Matthew Knies is not involved in.

The Leafs aren't dominating this powerplay, Dawson Mercer is able to skate into the Leafs end and shoot shorthanded, but they fight and fight in front of the Devils net and William Nylander scores.....or did he?

There's a refs huddle, about whether Allen had the glove over the puck as Nylander dug at it. The goal is waved off, after it's deemed Tavares smacked the goalie pad with his stick as the puck trickled by him. Allen protested immediately, and there's no challenge on the no goal call from Keefe.

Still 3-2 Maple Leafs as the period ends. Leafs lead in shots 23-12.

We have solid back and forth hockey to start the third. Not many chances or shots on goal, but we go up and down the ice as both teams trade possession.

Jake Allen is being tested and kept busy this period. Holmberg, Robertson, and others all force him to make brilliant saves to keep the lead at one. However, he can't stop the man on a mission, and Auston Matthews scores his 66th goal of the season with a solid wrist shot from the top of the circle.

Wide smiles from the man with the most goals by an NHL player in almost 30 years, since Mario Lemieux had 69 in 95-96.

Maple Leafs lead 4-2.

Simone Benoit and Noah Gregor both attempt to score goals of their own, Matthews tries for 67, and get the crowd on their feet for the saves Jake Allen makes.

Tyler Bertuzzi is called for tripping with four and a half minutes remaining, and the Devils get a chance to score another power play goal.

The Leafs penalty kill does a much better job this time, keeping the puck away from the net, the Devils to the outside of the ice, and they also don't let a goal in within seconds.

Jake Allen gets pulled with 3:20 in the period, :52 seconds left in the powerplay. The Leafs kill the penalty, and William Nylander takes control of the puck to give the Leafs a chance to change lines.

Tyler Bertuzzi shoots from the faceoff circle in the Leafs ends after a faceoff, and gets the empty net goal for his second of the night.

5-2 Toronto.

That's the game, the final score, the Leafs take their 46th win of the season, and eliminate the Devils from playoff contention.

A very well played game by the Maple Leafs, plenty of goals to go around, very, very few mistakes for the opposition to capitalize on.

Four more goals for Matthews to hit 70. Four more games to try.

A famliar foe comes to Toronto on Thursday night: The New Jersey Devils!

7:00PM, Sportsnet. See you there.

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