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Devils at Maple Leafs preview

New Jersey eyes third straight win; Toronto without defenseman Rielly at least eight weeks

by Dave McCarthy / Independent Correspondent

DEVILS (17-21-7) at MAPLE LEAFS (24-16-6)

7 p.m. ET; TVAS, SNO, MSG+, NHL.TV 


The Game

The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without defenseman Morgan Rielly when they attempt to end a three-game winless streak, against the New Jersey Devils at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday.

The defenseman will be out a minimum of eight weeks after he sustained a fractured foot blocking a shot during an 8-4 loss at the Florida Panthers on Sunday. Rielly has 27 points (three goals, 24 assists) in 46 games and leads all Maple Leafs in average ice time per game at 24:15.

Defenseman Rasmus Sandin, who had two assists in six NHL games in October, was recalled from Toronto of the American Hockey League and will play for the Maple Leafs, 0-2-1 in their past three games after going 9-0-1 in their previous 10.

The Devils will try to win three straight games for the second time this season; they have won consecutive games after going 0-2-1 in their previous three. 


Players to watch

Devils forward Travis Zajac has four points (one goal, three assists) in a three-game point streak.

Maple Leafs forward Mitchell Marner has 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) in his past 16 games.


They said it

"We're playing some of the best teams in the League here and I think it's a great test for us as a group. We have guys trying to gain experience and the best way to do that is to get up for these big games and see how you measure up." -- Devils defenseman P.K. Subban

"It's a good chance for us to get better as a team. … We want to be an elite team and we believe we are an elite team and have the ability to take big steps as a group. It's a really good opportunity for us individually and collectively to do just that." -- Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe on being without Rielly for at least eight weeks


Devils projected lineup

Pavel Zacha -- Nico Hischier -- Jesper Bratt

Blake Coleman -- Travis Zajac -- Nikita Gusev

Miles Wood -- Jack Hughes -- Wayne Simmonds

Jesper Boqvist -- Kevin Rooney -- John Hayden

Andy Greene -- P.K. Subban

Damon Severson -- Sami Vatanen

Will Butcher -- Connor Carrick

Louis Domingue

Cory Schneider

Scratched: Mirco Mueller

Injured: Ben Street (upper body), Kyle Palmieri (lower body), Mackenzie Blackwood (upper body)


Maple Leafs projected lineup   

Zach Hyman -- Auston Matthews -- Mitchell Marner

Alexander Kerfoot -- John Tavares -- William Nylander

Andreas Johnsson -- Pierre Engvall -- Kasperi Kapanen

Jason Spezza -- Adam Brooks -- Frederik Gauthier

Martin Marincin -- Tyson Barrie

Travis Dermott -- Justin Holl

Rasmus Sandin -- Cody Ceci

Frederik Andersen

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: Dmytro Timashov, Mason Marchment, Timothy Liljegren 

Injured: Trevor Moore (concussion), Ilya Mikheyev (wrist laceration), Jake Muzzin (foot), Morgan Rielly (fractured foot)


Status report

Neither Palmieri, a forward, or Blackwood, a goalie, travelled with the Devils to Toronto. Coach Alain Nasreddine said their returns are "up in the air" right now, though he said Palmieri's injury is not expected to be long-term. … The Maple Leafs recalled Liljegren, a defenseman, from Toronto of the American Hockey League on Tuesday.


Stat pack

Hischier has four points (three goals, one assist) in his past four games. … Spezza will play his 1,100th NHL game.

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