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Devils defeated by Maple Leafs

New Jersey falls to Toronto 6-1 Friday night

by Amanda Stein @amandacstein /

TORONTO - The New Jersey Devils are left looking for answers again, as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Devils 6-1 Friday night in Toronto. The Devils kept things close heading into the second, before the Leafs exploded for four second period goals building a hole for the Devils that New Jersey was unable to climb out of.

The Devils will play the final game of their seven-game road trip Sunday night in Winnipeg. 

Here are 10 takeaways from the game:

1. Devils forward Jesper Bratt made his season debut after sitting out the first 13 games of the season with a fractured jaw. Bratt returned to play on a line centered by rookie Brett Seney and Marcus Johansson on the left wing. 

2. Prior to the opening puck drop, the Leafs held a pregame ceremony honoring the 2018 Inductees into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The ceremony included legendary goaltender and Devils' great Martin Brodeur, who participated in the opening faceoff with his fellow inductees. 

Tweet from @NJDevils: 🐐 in the house. #HHOFBrodeur | #HHOF2018

Brodeur received his Hockey Hall of Fame ring in a press conference earlier in the afternoon, while his official induction ceremony will take place on Monday in Toronto. 

Tweet from @NJDevils: Mighty morphin' hall of famers. 💍��#HHOF2018#HHOFBrodeur

3. A familiar foe struck against the New Jersey Devils to open the games' scoring. Former Islander, now Maple Leaf, John Tavares put Toronto up 1-0 at the 12:24 mark of the first period, scoring the lone goal of the period. 

Tavares is no stranger to scoring against the Devils. In 38 games, Tavares has 14 goals and 12 assists for 26 points.

4. Travis Zajac scored the only goal of the night for the Devils at 7:23 of the second period. Blake Coleman displayed strong puck movement below the goal line and got a shot off on Leafs netminder Frederik Andersen. The rebound ended up right on Zajac's stick for an easy tap in.

Tweet from @NJDevils: .@BColes25 with the hands and Travis with the finish! #NJDvsTOR

The last time Zajac scored a goal in front of a Toronto crowd, Brodeur was the goaltender backstopping the Devils back in 2007.

5. The Devils struggled to manage the offensive power of the Toronto Maple Leafs, particularly in the second period. The Leafs scored four goals on New Jersey in the middle frame, the most the Devils have given up in a single period this season.

6. Keith Kinkaid was handed the goaltending reigns for the game against the Maple Leafs. Kinkaid stood tall in the first period, keeping his team within striking distance making 14 saves on 15 shots. The second period, the team struggled as a whole as the Leafs built an insurmountable lead scoring four goals on their 12 shots on net. The six goals conceded to Toronto was the third time in the 2018 calendar year Kinkaid has allowed 6-plus goals. 

7. The Devils struggled to find their way on the power play against the Leafs. They had just two opportunities against Toronto where they went 0-for-3 on Friday night. The penalty kill however posted a 100% success rate going 3-for-3.

8. The road has not been kind to the Devils so far this young season, New Jersey's away record drops to 1-6-0.

9. The Devils registered 39 shots on net against the Leafs. Only Andy Greene failed to record a shot, while Taylor Hall had a team leading five shots on net.

10. The Devils outhit the Leafs on Friday night, recording 37 hits just shy of their season high 41. Ben Lovejoy lead the team with six hits against Toronto, matching his career high.

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