Leafs Blowers (Full of the Devils; 11.23.22)

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akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

NEWARK, N.J. — The Toronto Maple Leafs saw their opponents put the puck into the net twice as many times as they did on Wednesday evening. Unlike their opponents, however, both of Toronto’s goals stood, and its fast start was enough to derail the winning run of the hottest team in the National Hockey League.

John Tavares and Pontus Holmberg scored first-period goals, and the Maple Leafs’ defense did enough to withstand an onslaught in the final 20 minutes to defeat the New Jersey Devils 2-1 at the Prudential Center and snap New Jersey’s 13-game winning streak. Matt Murray made 34 saves for Toronto, with 29 of those coming in the final two periods as the Devils frantically tried to break their franchise record for consecutive victories.

“We needed to get a win here today, no matter who we’re playing,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “I mean, that’s a tremendous hockey team over there and they deserve everything that they’ve gotten here to date. It’s a character win for our team, given what we’re going through here and to do it on the road against this team with how they’ve been playing, with that type of push and in the atmosphere here tonight, this is a real good day for the Leafs.”

New Jersey saw three of its shots that hit the back of the net disallowed, one in each period. After Erik Haula’s third-period goal was waived off because of a kicking motion on the puck before it crossed the line, frustrated Devils fans threw cups and beer cans onto the ice, causing a 10-minute delay.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Wednesday evening’s game, and after clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 21 pictures in total.

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