The Toronto Maple Leafs will be looking to get back into the win column when they visit the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.
Toronto fell 4-1 to the lowly Canucks, who netted a pair of shorthanded goals on the same Maple Leafs power play in Vancouver last Saturday night, to suffer its second loss in the last three games.
New Jersey rebounded from a 4-3 shootout loss to the Vegas Golden Knights last Friday with a 5-4 victory in overtime on Sunday night over the Arizona Coyotes. The Devils have earned at least a point in each of their last five games.
New Jersey is a -135 favourite on the moneyline and the total is set at 6.5 goals at bet365.
|Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds||+115|
|Devils Moneyline Odds||-135|
|Over/Under||6.5 goals (over -115, under -105)|
|Time/Date||Tuesday, March 7, 7:00 p.m. ET|
This will be the third and final clash between these two teams this season after they split the first two contests. New Jersey skated to a 3-2 overtime win in Toronto in the first meeting on Nov. 17 to give the Devils an 11th straight win at the time. They clashed again almost a week later on Nov. 23 in New Jersey, when the Maple Leafs halted the Devils’ 13-game win streak with a 2-1 victory in regulation time. Both of those previous contests played under the posted 6.5-goal totals.
About the Maple Leafs (38-17-7-1, 26-37 ATS, 26-34 o/u)
Toronto is 2-2-0 on a five-game road trip that will conclude on Tuesday night. It’s important to note that the Leafs won’t play again until Saturday when Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers roll into town, so expect them to leave it all out on the ice against the Devils. The substantial time between contests should help Auston Matthews, who injured his knee while blocking a shot in Saturday’s loss to the Canucks. He did return to the game, though, and should be fine to suit up for this tilt with the Devils.
Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe will need to juggle his lines on Tuesday following the news that both John Tavares and Ryan O’Reilly won’t be available (see injury section below). The team has called up Pontus Holmberg and Alex Steeves from the Toronto Marlies (AHL) to fill the holes on the roster.
Player to watch: Mitch Marner
Although he was held pointless last time out against the Canucks, Marner has amassed three goals and nine assists in his last seven games, and he leads the team with 77 points this year. He also notched an assist in each of the two previous games against the Devils this season.
About the Devils (41-15-3-3, 33-29 ATS, 30-28 o/u)
Timo Meier didn’t disappoint in his Devils debut on Sunday, recording a goal and three shots on goal in just under 16 minutes of ice time. The Swiss hockey star was acquired in a trade with the San Jose Sharks prior to the trade deadline, but he hadn’t played since suffering an upper-body injury on Feb. 18. He played on a line with Jesper Bratt and Jack Hughes and should see an increase in ice time as he settles into a regular role following the injury.
The Devils are 6-1-1 over their last eight games and sit second in the Metropolitan Division with 88 points, two points behind the Carolina Hurricanes for the division lead. New Jersey won’t play again until Thursday when it visits the Washington Capitals.
Player to watch: Dawson Mercer
Mercer is scorching hot, recording 10 goals and six assists over his last nine games. He’s scored at least a point in nine consecutive games and has four multi-point efforts during that span.
Leafs: Ilya Samsonov (20-7-2, 2.39 GAA, .915 SV%) – confirmed.
Devils: Vitek Vanecek (26-6-3, 2.50 GAA, .908 SV%) – confirmed.
O’Reilly has been placed on Long-Term Injured Reserve with a broken finger and will miss at least 10 games and Tavares also won’t play due to an illness.
New Jersey currently has two goaltenders – Mackenzie Blackwood (lower body) and Jonathan Bernier (hip) – on the shelf. That means Akira Schmid will dress and will likely back up Vanecek.
- The under is 4-0-1 in Toronto’s last five games.
- Toronto has won the past five meetings between the teams in New Jersey.
- The favourite is 22-4 in the past 26 meetings between the teams.
- The Devils have played over the posted total in six straight games.
Wagers to consider
- Game to be tied after regulation: +320. These two teams have played two incredibly close games (and one was decided in OT) and we can expect the same tonight. Without two of its top players, Toronto will be hunkering down and playing for at least a single point.
- Dawson Mercer over 0.5 points: -125. Mercer is on a tear and there’s no reason to think he’ll go pointless in this one.
- Sam Lafferty anytime goal: +375. Lafferty should bump up to the second line to replace Tavares and could even play on Toronto’s second power play unit on Tuesday. The former Chicago Blackhawk has been held pointless in six straight games, but this is an excellent opportunity for him to break out and get on the board with his first goal as a Leaf. At +375 odds, it might be worth a sprinkle.
Other NHL games tonight
|Home Team||Away Team||Time (ET)|
|Montreal Canadiens||+260||-320||Carolina Hurricanes||7:00 PM|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||-310||+250||Columbus Blue Jackets||7:00 PM|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-305||+245||Philadelphia Flyers||7:00 PM|
|Florida Panthers||-150||+130||Vegas Golden Knights||7:00 PM|
|New York Islanders||-165||+145||Buffalo Sabres||7:30 PM|
|Minnesota Wild||-140||+120||Calgary Flames||8:00 PM|
|Arizona Coyotes||+115||-135||St. Louis Blues||9:00 PM|
|Colorado Avalanche||-315||+255||San Jose Sharks||9:00 PM|
|Seattle Kraken||-300||+240||Anaheim Ducks||10:00 PM|