The Toronto Maple Leafs came back last night to defeat the New Jersey Devils 6-4 at home, despite Jack Campbell being chased early in the game last night.

Leafs turn a strong 3rd into a win over the Devils

Jack Campbell got the start again tonight since Petr Mrázek played the majority of last night’s game. The Maple Leafs turn the tables and score early in the first period, when Jason Spezza shows off some of his “vintage” moves and puts the Leafs ahead 1-0.

Mitch Marner almost doubles the score right away, but Devils goalie Jon Gilles make the save and then the puck just...sits there for a second until it’s cleared quickly out of the zone.

The Maple Leafs are playing defense to start the game as well, with Wayne Simmonds stepping in to keep the puck away from the Devils.

The Maple Leafs push and push for more goals, Mitch Marner trying to extend his goal streak to seven games with multiple chances.

Their hard work pays off with two close goals to extend the lead to 3-0. First, Auston Matthews:

Then an unguarded David Kämpf triples the score:

Three goals in nine minutes has the Devils using a tie out early to calm things down. It won’t work. Midway through the first the Devils have just 4 shots on net while the Leafs nearly triple that with 11. This isn’t the same Devils we saw in the first period last night, but is the same team we saw at the end of the game and that’s super.

Speaking of super, in a net front battle, Mitch Marner gets the goal he’s been working hard for, and extends the streak to seven games and makes it 4-0 in the final quarter of the first period.

The Devils continue their lack of defense by responding to being down 4-0 by Pavel Zacha taking a lazy tripping penalty giving the team that is scoring a goal every four minutes a two minute power play.

The Leafs don’t score right away but with 30 seconds left Damon Severson crosschecks Michael Bunting into the boards and give the Leafs a short 5 on 3. No goal there, but the Leafs have a man advantage until the period ends, and it does without a fifth goal.

The second starts with a brief power play, but the Leafs continue to play keep away in the Devils zone for a solid minute and a half. No goal, but some excellent passing and stick work by the team.

While the Devils get a few shots, there’s nothing of quality, and the Maple Leafs relax a bit and continue to control play and keep the lead. Mitch Marner and Michael Bunting take advantage of the Maple Leafs being a much better team than the Devils and score the fifth goal of the game with a great play.

The Maple Leafs feel a little sorry for the Devils and give them a chance with the man advantage when Alex Kerfoot is called for a high stick and a few seconds later TJ Brodie gets called for cross checking.

The Devils power play gets a lot of zone time and some shots, but nothing gets past Jack Campbell, and the Leafs played a great penalty kill. No goal for the Devils.

The Maple Leafs are not done making Gillies regret his decision to become a goaltenders, when Pierre Engvall scores his seventh of the season.

The second period ends 6-0 for Toronto.

The Devils relive Gillies of the goal to start the third and now the Maple Leafs will make Akira Schmid regret becoming a goalie.

The third opens with more of what we’ve seen. The Maple Leafs mostly controlling play, with a couple spurts of Devils offense. Sadly, one of those spurts results in a goal from Jack Hughes.

Maple Leafs still lead 6-1.

Mitch Marner is hanging around the Devils end unnoticed and end sup with the puck and nets his second of the game.

Maple Leafs regain the six goal lead, and it’s 7-1 Toronto.

The third period is all Maple Leafs, and the goal against seems to have them working a bit harder to protect the lead than before. Less relaxed than in the second period, more trying to extend the lead.

As the clock ticks down in the final minute the arena comes alive with a big “Go Leafs Go” chant, as the majority of Devils fans left early.

The Maple Leafs played a great game and fully deserved this win. This is the final game ahead of the All Star Game break, and the Leafs resume play on Monday night when they host the Carolina Hurricanes.

All Star festivities kick off Friday night at 7:30 with the Skills competition. See you then, if I remember it’s on.

Game Notes:

  • Tonight was William Nylanders 400th NHL game,
  • Mitch Marner has scored at least one goal in his past seven games
  • Auston Matthews’ goal was his 50th point, and that makes him the first Maple Leafs to start his career with six 50 point seasons, and he is tied for 5th all time in Maple Leafs with 50 point seasons
  • Pierre Engvall is on a seven game point streak
  • The Maple Leafs are a very good hockey team./