DEVILS (11-4-2) at MAPLE LEAFS (12-7-0)
7 p.m. ET; TSN4, MSG, NHL.TV
Center Auston Matthews will miss his fourth consecutive game with an upper-body injury when the Toronto Maple Leafs play the New Jersey Devils at Air Canada Centre on Thursday.
The Maple Leafs are 3-0-0 without Matthews in the lineup and on a four-game winning streak.
Devils center Travis Zajac will make his season debut after missing the first 17 games recovering from surgery to repair a torn left pectoral muscle on Aug 17. The Devils are on a two-game winning streak after going winless (0-2-2) in their previous four games.
Players to watch
Devils forward Miles Wood had a hat trick and one assist in a 7-5 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday. He scored twice in a 6-3 win against the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Oct 11.
Maple Leafs forward Mitchell Marner has seven points (goal, six assists) in his past five games after going without a point in his previous five.
They said it
"I get it every year and especially the first game this season I'm sure I'll have some nerves but it's all good." -- Devils center Travis Zajac
"There's so much focus on it. We obviously try to focus on what we can do and we know the medical staff and Auston are doing what they can to get healthy. We know we don't have to force him in right now, which is great so we don't have to rush him which could make it worse." -- Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen on playing without Matthews
Devils projected lineup
Taylor Hall -- Nico Hischier -- Kyle Palmieri
Jesper Bratt -- Travis Zajac -- Drew Stafford
Adam Henrique -- Brian Boyle -- Miles Wood
Brian Gibbons -- Blake Coleman -- Stefan Noesen
Andy Greene -- Steven Santini
John Moore -- Damon Severson
Will Butcher -- Ben Lovejoy
Scratched: Jimmy Hayes, Dalton Prout, Pavel Zacha
Injured: Marcus Johansson (concussion), Mirco Mueller (fractured collarbone)
Maple Leafs projected lineup
Zach Hyman -- Patrick Marleau -- Connor Brown
Leo Komarov -- Nazem Kadri - William Nylander
James van Riemsdyk -- Tyler Bozak -- Mitchell Marner
Matt Martin -- Dominic Moore -- Nikita Soshnikov
Morgan Rielly -- Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner -- Nikita Zaitsev
Andreas Borgman -- Connor Carrick
Scratched: Josh Leivo, Roman Polak
Injured: Auston Matthews (upper body)
Soshnikov, who was recalled from Toronto of the American Hockey League on Tuesday, will make his season debut.
Hischier has seven points (one goal, six assists) in his past six games. Schneider has allowed three goals or fewer in five of his past six starts and is 3-2-1 during that span. … Rielly has five points (one goal, four assists) during a four-game point streak. Marleau has scored in each of his past three games and has four points (three goals, assist) during a four-game point streak.