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Toronto Maple Leafs vs New Jersey Devils: Two Eastern Conference Heavyweights Battle It Out

Written by: Max Heering
Updated March 7, 2023
12 min read
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs are 3-2-0 in their last five games.

  • The New Jersey Devils have won three of their previous five games.

  • The Maple Leafs are 1-0-1 against the Devils this season.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs New Jersey Devils Odds

Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Team

Spread

Total

Toronto Maple Leafs

+1.5

BET HERE

O 6.5

BET HERE

New Jersey Devils

-1.5

BET HERE

U 6.5

BET HERE

Toronto Maple Leafs vs New Jersey Devils Predictions and Picks

New Jersey Devils beat Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 

Toronto Maple Leafs cover 

Over 6.5 goals

Leafs vs Devils Predictions

Head-to-Head: Toronto Maple Leafs vs New Jersey Devils

Toronto Maple Leafs

Head-to-Head

New Jersey Devils

Sheldon Keefe

Head Coach

Lindy Ruff

38-17-8 (2nd in Atlantic Division)

Standing

41-15-6 (2nd in Metropolitan Division)


Leaders 


Mitchell Marner (77)

Points

Jack Hughes (75)

William Nylander (33)

Goals

Jack Hughes (36)

Mitchell Marner (55)

Assists

Dougie Hamilton (41)

Mark Giordano (24)

+/-

Tomas Tata5 (39)

Auston Matthews (3.60)

Shots (Per Game)

Jack Hughes (4.51)

Toronto Maple Leafs vs New Jersey Devils Predictions and Picks

The Toronto Maple Leafs will make the trek to Newark to face the New Jersey Devils for the third time this season. The Devils won their first matchup 3-2 in overtime, but the Maple Leafs tied up the series with a 2-1 win the second time around.

The Maple Leafs are in second place in the Atlantic Division with 84 points. They will not overtake the first-place Boston Bruins but only have a five-point lead over the third-place Tampa Bay Lightning. Their opponents, the Devils, are in second place in the Metropolitan Division. However, they are only four points out of first place and can finish the season with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.

The Maple Leafs are dominating opponents this season. They have the fourth-most points in the NHL and one of the NHL’s better offenses. Defensively, they are even better and only allow 2.67 goals per game. Toronto has the fifth-best defense in the league and is very hard to score on. The Maple Leafs do not need to make many changes. Their offense could get a little better, but other than that, they are a formidable team.

The Maple Leafs have four players (Auston Matthews, John Tavares, William Nylander, Mitchell Marner) with at least 60 points. Matthews may not play in this game as he is recovering from injury, but the other are healthy and firing on all cylinders.

Ilya Samsonov will probably get the start in the net for the Maple Leafs. Samsonov only gives up 2.39 goals per game and has a 22-8-2 record.

The Devils are even more well-rounded than the Maple Leafs. Their defense operates at the same level as Toronto’s, and their offense is slightly better. New Jersey also has one of the best goalies in the NHL in Vitek Vanecek.

The Devils have an electric offense and four players (Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt, Dougie Hamilton, Jack Hughes) with at least 58 points. All of these players are playing in this game and will make life difficult for the Maple Leafs.

Vitek Vanecek has excelled as the Devils’ starting goalie. His save percentage of .908 is mediocre, but the Devils win when he plays.

The Devils are playing at home and a little healthier than Toronto, so I would bet on them to win.

Why Might the Toronto Maple Leafs Win?

The Maple Leafs are the underdogs but can improve their chances if they draw penalties and increase their shot output.

Much of the Maple Leaf’s scoring this season has come on the power play. Toronto converts 25.1% of their opportunities, and over 22% of their goals have come with a man advantage. The Maple Leafs need this unit to excel this game. If it does, they will win.

The Maple Leafs average 32.2 shots per game. This is a lot of shots, but they are facing a Devils team that shoots even more. Toronto has to increase their shot output to match the Devils and give themselves more opportunities.

Why Might the New Jersey Devils Win?

The Devils are the favorites but will win with strong goaltending and passing.

Vitek Vanecek will likely get the start in the net for the Maple Leafs. He is typically a reliable goaltender but has given up nine goals in his previous two games. Vanecek must return to form this matchup and be a brick wall in the net.

The Devils’ offense is only a little better than the Maple Leafs’. They need to show that they are the stronger offensive team and can do so by passing the puck more and creating additional scoring opportunities.

Maple Leafs Key Players: (C) Calle Jarnkrok

Calle Jarnkrok is discussed sparingly when you talk about the Maple Leafs. However, the center is an efficient player. He plays less than 14 minutes a game and has 13 goals and 15 assists. More importantly, he is an efficient shooter and converts 15.7% of his shots.

Jarnkrok must be aggressive in this game but still take smart shots. If he takes advantage of his opportunities, he will put a puck in the back of the net.

Devils Key Player: (RW) Timo Meier

Timo Meier was traded to the New Jersey Devils from the San Jose Sharks at the Trade Deadline. He made his first appearance in a Devils’ jersey on Sunday against the Arizona Coyotes. The winger wasted no time and scored the first Devils’ goal with a little under 11 minutes left in the first period.

Meier must take advantage of his time on the Devils and shine for them. He can be their x-factor for the rest of the season and the Playoffs, but only if he decides to be.

How to Watch Toronto Maple Leafs vs New Jersey Devils 

  • What - Toronto Maple Leafs vs New Jersey Devils 

  • Where - Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey

  • When - Tuesday, March 7, 7:00 PM EST

  • How to Watch - NHLPP, ESPN+

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AUTHOR

Max Heering

429 Articles

Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]

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