Toronto Maple Leafs stage latest comeback win to beat New Jersey Devils 6-4


Published January 31, 2022 at 10:35 pm

TORONTO — Jason Spezza, Mitch Marner and Ilya Mikheyev scored third-period goals to give the Toronto Maple Leafs another comeback win, this time a 6-4 decision against the New Jersey Devils on Monday.

Behind two goals entering the third period, Mikheyev completed the comeback with a short-handed goal on a two-on-rush with Alex Kerfoot.

The win arrived two days after the Maple Leafs overcame a two-goal, third-period deficit in Detroit to defeat the Red Wings.

The Maple Leafs (28-10-3) hit the midseason mark with a four-game win streak and an identical record they enjoyed at the 41-game point a year ago.

Auston Matthews scored twice in the first period and added an empty netter to complete the hat trick and deny Devils rookie goalie Akira Schmid his first career NHL win.

The Leafs outshot New Jersey 33-29. The Devils (15-24-5) have lost five in a row.

Toronto’s Jason Spezza lifted a shot high into the top of the net 4:16 into the final period. Marner then tied the game off a faceoff thanks to some hustle from teammate Michael Bunting who retrieved a loose puck after Matthews lost the draw.

The 21-year-old Schmid entered the game with a 0-3-0 record and an abysmal .824 save percentage.

New Jersey was without its veteran head coach Lindy Ruff, who left the team to be with his family back in Warburg, AB, after the passing of his 88-year-old father, Leeson.

The Devils took advantage of a slow start from the Maple Leafs to build a 2-0 lead by the 6:20 mark of the opening period.

Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe called a timeout after New Jersey’s third goal to scold his players and lift Campbell in favour of backup Petr Mrazek.

This was the front end of a home-and-home set between the two teams that will see them play in New Jersey on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 31, 2022.

Tim Wharnsby, The Canadian Press

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