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Mar 25, 2024 5:14 pm

Maple Leafs out to jumpstart offense vs. Devils

Kaapo Kahkonen

The Toronto Maple Leafs aim to regain their scoring touch Tuesday, while the visiting New Jersey Devils hope to build on a shutout performance.

The Maple Leafs (40-21-9, 89 points) had scored at least three goals in six successive games before losing 2-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday in Raleigh, N.C. Toronto had defeated the visiting Edmonton Oilers 6-3 on Saturday.

The Devils (35-33-4, 74 points) defeated the host New York Islanders 4-0 on Sunday. They were coming off a 5-2 loss to the visiting Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

The Maple Leafs put 33 shots on Carolina goaltender Frederik Andersen, who played five seasons in Toronto, but received only one third-period goal from Nicholas Robertson.

Toronto had strong goaltending from Joseph Woll, who made 41 saves in his fifth game since returning from a sprained ankle.

The Maple Leafs also were encouraged by the status of goaltender Ilya Samsonov, who left the game Saturday in the final minutes with an injury and was replaced by Martin Jones.

Samsonov stretched to make the save on Leon Draisaitl’s goal and his left leg slid into the post. Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said that the initial diagnosis was “not anything we would consider as a concern at this point.”

Of immediate concern was the Maple Leafs’ 0-for-4 performance on the power play on Sunday.

“It just comes down to a goal,” Woll said. “I thought we played well and gave ourselves the opportunity. I thought Freddie (Andersen) had a good game.”

The Maple Leafs have lost three of their past five games (2-2-1). They were again without Mitch Marner (ankle), who missed his seventh consecutive game on Sunday.

Robertson has had inconsistent playing time and it is not certain how he will fit in during the playoffs.

“Tough game back-to-back, but we definitely competed and showed we wanted to win,” Robertson said. “This (goal) gives you confidence, eases your mind a bit. (Woll) was great. We gave him some tough looks and he bailed us out.”

The Devils have won three of their past four games, as Kaapo Kahkonen made 36 saves to earn his first shutout of the season on Sunday.

It was Kahkonen’s first win with the Devils in his third game since being acquired in a trade with the San Jose Sharks on March 8. It also was the first shutout for New Jersey this season.

“I felt good all night,” Kahkonen said. “It’s important for the goalie to stay calm (when there are so many penalties). It gives the guys confidence when you see somebody that’s confident in there but still sharp. That’s what I’m trying to be every night. It paid off (against New York). That was a good team effort.”

Jack Hughes and Timo Meier each had a goal and an assist for the Devils.

The outing helped erase negative feelings about the loss on Saturday.

“As a player, there’s nothing worse than when you play bad and you have to wait a few days,” New Jersey coach Travis Green said. “The best thing about it was getting to play again (Sunday). We had a real good meeting before the game and our team really responded.”

–Field Level Media

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