Toronto Maple Leafs (36-28-8) at New Jersey Devils (30-28-13)
7:00 PM ET • Prudential Center • MSG Plus, News Radio 660 WCBS
New Jersey will have not have a morning skate. Head Coach Peter DeBoer will be available outside of the Devils’ Locker Room at approximately 4:45 PM. Select player availability to follow.
Toronto will not skate this morning. Select player availability outside of their locker room at 5:00 PM.
Tonight’s contest is the fourth of New Jersey’s season-high five-game homestand. Seven of the team’s remaining 11 games will be played at Prudential Center.
New Jersey is 9-3-2=20pts in its last 14 games at The Rock following last night’s 2-0 loss vs. the New York Rangers.
Tonight’s game also closes-out the club’s 19th of 22 sets of back-to-back games. The Devils are 7-9-3 in first games and 8-6-4 in second games when playing on consecutive dates.
The Devils were shutout for the ninth time last night but have scored three-or-more goals in seven of their last 12 games. Their power play has converted 6/21 (28.6%) attempts over the last seven home games and is the third-best (tie, Phoenix) in the NHL overall (44/212, 20.8%).
New Jersey’s top-ranked penalty-kill unit (197/227, 86.8%) was 2/3 last night and is 19/21 (90.5%) over the last five games.
This weekend marks the 34th time in franchise history that the Devils have played home games on consecutive days & the second time this season: Nov. 15 vs. LA (L, 0-2) & Nov. 16 vs. Pit. (W, 4-1). New Jersey is 19-14-1 in first games and 23-9-1 in second games all-time when playing a back-to-back set at home.
The Devils are allowing just 25.6 shots per-game, which is the fewest in the NHL.
New Jersey’s 8.1 PIM per game are the fewest in the league.
Head Coach Peter DeBoer won his 200th NHL game/served in his 200th game behind the Devils’ bench on Thursday vs. Minnesota. DeBoer is 200-182-65 in 447 games in six NHL seasons with Florida and New Jersey. He’s now 97-75-29 in three seasons with the Devils and, with 97 wins, has tied Brent Sutter for third in franchise history behind Jacques Lemaire (276) and Doug Carpenter (100).
Cory Schneider is expected to make the start in goal tonight. He made 20 saves and snapped a three-game losing streak in Thursday’s 4-3 OT win vs. Minnesota. Schneider is fifth in the NHL with a 2.14 goals-against average.
Patrik Elias is eighth (tie) in the NHL with 5g-10a-15pts since play resumed on February 25 following the Winter Olympic break. Adam Henrique is tied for 15th with 9g-4a-13pts.
Jaromir Jagr scored his 23rd goal of the season on Thursday, which tied Henrique for the team lead. It was the 704th goal of his career goal, just four behind Mike Gartner (708g) for sixth-place in NHL history. He’s also 5a behind Gordie Howe (1,049a) for eighth and is 7pts behind Steve Yzerman (692g-1,063a-1,755pts) for sixth place all-time. Jagr has 6g-5a-11pts over the last 12 games.
Travis Zajac has 4g-5a-9pts over the last nine games, while Ryane Clowe has 2g-6a-8pts over the last 12. Clowe recorded the 300th point of his NHL career (109g-191a) with an assist on Thursday.
Anton Volchenkov (lower body) left the game last night and did not return.
Devils vs. Maple Leafs
Tonight’s game between the Devils and Maple Leafs is the third/final meeting between the teams this season and the first to be played at Prudential Center.Toronto leads the season series 2-0-0, with both games being decided in a shootout.
Ryane Clowe (1g-1a), Eric Gelinas (2a) and Andy Greene (2a) each have two points to lead the Devils while Phil Kessel has 1g-2a-3pts to lead the Leafs.
Cory Schneider (0-0-2, 1.39 goals-against average & .943 save-percentage) has started both games for New Jersey, while Jonathan Bernier (2-0-1, 1.38 GAA & .959 save %) has been in goal for Toronto.
The Devils have lost six straight games to the Maple Leafs (0-3-3) and trail the all-time series 38-40-18, but are 21-15-10 in the previous 46 games played in New Jersey.
Patrik Elias is New Jersey’s all-time leading scorer with 14g-18a-32pts in 51 games vs. Toronto, while Kessel leads all Maple Leafs’ active skaters with 9g-17a-26pts in 28 games vs. the Devils.
Martin Brodeur is 22-20-10 with 3 ShO, a 2.54 GAA & .903 save % in 53 games vs. Toronto. Schneider’s two starts this season were the first of his career vs. the Maple Leafs.
Bernier is now 2-1-0 with 1.89 GAA & .938 save % in three games, while James Reimer is 4-1-2 with 1 ShO, a 2.03 GAA & .937 save % in seven career games vs. New Jersey.
Steve Bernier needs nine points to reach 200 in his NHL career.
Damien Brunner needs seven games to reach 100 in his NHL career.
Ryane Clowe needs nine assists to reach 200 in his NHL career.
Patrik Elias needs nine goals to reach 400 in his NHL career.
Tim Sestito (upper body, one game missed) is day-to-day.
Total man-games lost to injury/illness: 219
Mar. 18: Recalled forward Tim Sestito from Albany (AHL).
Mar. 5: Acquired forward Tuomo Ruutu from Carolina in exchange for forward Andrei Loktionov and a conditional third-round choice in the 2017 NHL Entry draft.