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Keys To The Game: Leafs vs. Devils

by David Alter / Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs look to extend their regulation unbeaten streak to a season high six games tonight at Air Canada Centre. Here are the three keys to grabing a win over the New Jersey Devils.

Goals equal Wins
The Devils aren’t loaded with a lot of scoring power. Their strength involves a clamped down defensive style that results in wins. Lately, that hasn’t been the case having only won one game in their last eight. After beating the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night, the Leafs have moved to second in the NHL in average goals scored per game (3.38). Getting three goals early enough in this game could be enough to give Toronto two points.

Wounded Devils
Jaromir Jagr, Patrick Elias and Stephen Gionta were all hurt in the Devils loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday. All three made the trip but their status remains in doubt. Jagr leads the team in scoring with 15 points. Should he not be able to go, the biggest scoring threat for Toronto will be Mike Cammalleri and Adam Henrique. Look for the Leafs to focus on limiting the opportunities of these two players.

Power Play Strength
The Devils have the fourth-worst penalty-kill in the NHL at 75.3%. That’s actually an improvement from two games ago as they didn’t surrender a goal during that span. Meanwhile, the Leafs power-play has been on an upswing. After scoring just one power-play goal in their last six games, the Leafs have scored four-times in their last two contests with the man-advantage. Winning the special teams battle will help the Leafs grab two points. Scoring the first goal will help further, knowing that they are 10-0-0 this season when lighting the lamp first.

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