New Jersey Devils Eliminated from Playoff Contention with Loss to Toronto Maple Leafs | 04/09/2024

Morgan Reilly and Alexander Holtz race for the puck at the Prudential Center.

The New Jersey Devils lost 5-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center. The Devils struggled with puck possession throughout the game and didn’t put enough chances on net. With the loss, the Devils fell to 37-37-5, while the Maple Leafs improved to 46-23-9.

Game Recap

Period One

After a long shift in the offensive zone, Toronto opened the scoring at 8:56 when Nick Robertson found a loose rebound and buried it behind Jake Allen. Morgan Reilly and TJ Brodie had the assists.

The Devils tied things up at 14:25 with a goal from Nico Hischier, who split the Maple Leafs’ defense and beat Joseph Woll on a breakaway. Dawson Mercer and Brendan Smith collected the assists.

New Jersey finished the period halfway through a second consecutive penalty kill.

The Devils were outshot 7-4 in the first 20 minutes.

Period Two

The Devils finished the kill to begin the period.

New Jersey took the lead on a power play at 5:17, thanks to Mercer’s 20th goal of the season. He found the loose puck at the net front and backhanded it around Woll’s pad. Hischier added the lone assist.

However, Toronto tied the game at 15:00 with a goal from Tyler Bertuzzi, who was left wide open for a one-timer. Max Domi and Jake McCabe collected the assists.

Only ten seconds later, the Maple Leafs jumped back in front with a blast from distance from Mark Giordano for his third goal of the season. Auston Matthews and Bertuzzi had the assists.

The Devils were outshot 15-8 in the middle frame.

Period Three

The Maple Leafs extended their lead at 7:33 with Matthews’ 66th goal of the season through a screen. Domi had the lone assist.

Bertuzzi hit the empty net at 18:47 to ice the game for the Maple Leafs. McCabe and Mitch Marner tallied the assists.

The Devils were outshot 37-20 in the 5-2 loss.

Takeaways

Puck possession was an issue for the Devils all night long. They had a few dangerous chances off the rush but couldn’t get sustained zone time or force second and third opportunities. Joseph Woll did not have a groundbreaking performance, posting just a .900 SV% and a -.23 GSAx on the 20 shots he faced, but the Devils did not put nearly enough pressure on the Toronto netminder.

The third period was, again, a poor showing for the Devils. Down a goal to begin the period, they only managed eight shots on net while allowing 15 against. They were outscored 2-0. Despite the disappointing outcome of the season, the Devils should look to correct this trend to end the year playing solid hockey.

With New Jersey’s loss to the Maple Leafs and a New York Islanders victory over the New York Rangers, the Devils have officially been eliminated from 2024 playoff contention.

Injury Update

Before puck drop against the Maple Leafs, it was announced by the Devils that superstar forward, Jack Hughes, would be shut down for the remainder season to receive surgery on his shoulder.

Hughes suffered a shoulder injury on November 3 in the first period of a matchup in St. Louis after crashing awkwardly into the boards behind the Blues’ net. He missed five games.

He suffered another upper-body injury on January 5 against the Chicago Blackhawks, in the same game that rookie phenom Connor Bedard was sidelined with a broken jaw. Hughes missed over a month with his second injury.

He is set to undergo surgery on April 10 by Dr. Peter Millett, located in Vail, Colorado.

He is expected to make a full recovery in time for the start of the Devils’ training camp in September.

Up Next

The Devils fly to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs again on Thursday night, in the second half of a home-and-home series between the two clubs.

This will be the third and final meeting of the season between the Devils and Maple Leafs. The series is tied at one game apiece, with the Devils winning the first match 6-3 on March 26 and the Maple Leafs taking the most recent victory.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

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