New Jersey Devils Game 44 Preview: at Toronto Maple Leafs

RALEIGH, NC - JANUARY 29: Goaltender Antti Raanta #32 of the Carolina Hurricanes makes a pad save on a shot form Andreas Johnsson #11 of the New Jersey Devils during an NHL game on January 29, 2022 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

The New Jersey Devils travel north of the border for the first half of a home-and-home with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Record: 15-23-5 (35 points, 8th in Metro)

The Opponent: Toronto Maple Leafs (27-10-3) – FHN Site: The Blue and White

Puckdrop: 7:30 PM ET

Venue: Scotiabank Arena

Expected Goaltenders: Akira Schmid (0-3-0) vs. Jack Campbell (20-6-3)

Television Broadcasts: MSG, SNE, SNO

Toronto Maple Leafs

Once again, the Maple Leafs are one of the league’s top teams. Led by superstar Auston Matthews, Toronto finds themselves third is the Atlantic Division with a three point cushion over the Boston Bruins. While they are 10 points behind the division leading Florida Panthers, the Maple Leafs have played five less games.

Toronto relies on their high offensive output to win games. The team is averaging 3.45 goals per game and has the best power play in the league operating at 31 percent. The goaltending duo of Jack Campbell and Petr Mrazek has provided the club with a solid backstop as the team only allows 2.65 goals per game.

Campbell will start tonight’s game from Toronto. The 30-year-old is having a Vezina caliber season with a 20-6-3 record, 2.26 GAA, .926 save percentage, and four shutouts.

New Jersey Devils

The Devils have played really well in the first two games of this road trip. Each game, however, did end in a loss because of one or two costly mistakes. With their current goaltending situation, New Jersey needs to play a perfect game in order to get wins against top teams and they were not able to do that against the Tampa Bay Lightning or Carolina Hurricanes.

Jesper Boqvist potted the only goal for New Jersey in their last game against the Hurricanes. Goaltender Antti Raanta played a masterful game stopping 24 of 25 shots to hand the Devils their fourth straight loss. Devils’ goalie Jon Gillies stopped allowed two goals on 23 shots in his 5th loss of the season.

Goaltender Akira Schmid will make his fourth career start tonight in Toronto. The 21-year-old has had his struggles in his brief time with New Jersey as he is winless in four appearances with a 4.99 GAA and .824 save percentage.

The team announced today that head coach Lindy Ruff will not be behind the bench for New Jersey tonight or tomorrow due to the recent passing of his father.

Player to Watch: Andreas Johnsson

This year has been a rollercoaster season for Andreas Johnsson. After a hot start to the year, Johnsson has cooled off significantly with six points in his last 21 games.

Tonight marks the first time that Johnsson gets to play the franchise that traded him to New Jersey in October 2020. Expect Johnsson to play with some jump in his step as he gets his first crack at his former club.

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