Maple Leafs end Devils 13 game win streak with 2-1 victory

Josh Marano
FiredUp Network Sports Writer


Wednesday, November 23, 2022

No blue-line, no problem for the Toronto Maple Leafs as they hold on to beat the New Jersey Devils 2-1. Their first loss since October 24th.


Matt Murray had a stellar performance stopping 34 shots, his fourth consecutive game stopping 30 or more.


He did have some help however with the Devils having three goals called back.


New Jersey thought they opened the scoring seven minutes into the game, but the goal was called off immediately due to goaltender interference on Devil’s Nathan Bastian. Head coach Lindy Ruff challenged the call but was unsuccessful.


Later in the frame it was a Mitch Marner forecheck that lead to John Tavares scoring his 12th goal. Marner extending his point streak to 14 games, passing his previous best. He sits four games back of tying the franchise record.


Just over two minutes later Pontus Holmberg scored his first career NHL goal, beating Vitek Vanecek five hole. Toronto ended the first up 2-0.


In the second period it appeared as though New Jersey scored again with a point shot from Damon Severson and Matt Murray out of the net. The referees called it off again due to another goaltender interference as Tomas Tatar bumped Murray trying to get back to his net after stopping the puck in behind. Devils fans in attendance let the referees know their displeasure with chants of “ref you suck” echoing through the arena.


Then things got out of hand. 


In the third period with the Leafs on the powerplay up 2-0, Erik Haula had a chance on goal. Murray sprawled across to make the first stop, which was a beauty, but the puck came back to Haula and ended up in the net. The referees reviewed it and deemed it a distinct kicking motion. Haula attempted to kick it towards the net, but it hit off Leaf’s defender Mark Giordano and in.


Devil’s fan started throwing hats on the ice, then beer and other objects. The ice was an absolute mess and the players on the bench had to go down the tunnel with some objects hitting the Leafs bench.


Play continued after a long break and New Jersey got one that counted. Dougie Hamilton pinched to the front of the net and tipped home a nice shot pass from Yegor Sharangovich to make it 2-1. But that’s how this one would end.


Before the game it was announced that Morgan Rielly would miss at least the next 10 games for Toronto. Now without Rielly, T.J. Brodie and Jake Muzzin the team called up Mac Hollowell who made his NHL debut. He logged 12:26 time on ice (TOI) in this one, fifth highest of the defenseman. Jordie Benn had the lowest after leaving the second period with an unknown injury. He did return for the third.


Mark Giordano and Justin Holl were the minute munchers in this one on the top pair. Giordano played a huge roll defensively blocking six shots in 24:43 of work. Holl led the way with 25:03. Rasmus Sandin also saw his role improve seeing his highest TOI of the season.


General Manager Kyle Dubas made a move earlier today acquiring Conor Timmins from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for 6’9 forward Curtis Douglas. Timmins is a 24-year-old, right-shot d-man who stands at 6’2. He has 41 career NHL games across four seasons. He was originally drafted 32nd overall in 2017 by the Colorado Avalanche after playing for the Soo Grey Hounds in the OHL.  Douglas is yet to make his NHL debut.


The Leafs head to Minnesota for a matinee game Friday against the Wild.


TOR Scoring: Tavares (12), Holmberg (1)


NJD Scoring: Hamilton (6)