NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, October 16th (All times eastern)
Toronto Maple Leafs (0-1-1-0) at New Jersey Devils (1-0-1-0), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils will raise their Stanley Cup championship banner tonight before taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Meadowlands.
The last time the Devils played a meaningful game on their home ice, it resulted in a 3-0 victory over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals in June. The win clinched the Devs' third title in nine seasons.
New Jersey's quest for a repeat is off to a 1-0-1 start, as Pat Burns' troops followed up an opening tie with Boston with a 2-1 victory in Carolina on Saturday. Martin Brodeur made 30 saves to lift the Devils to the win, and Sergei Brylin and Jamie Langenbrunner provided the necessary goals.
Forty-two-year-old former Red Wing Igor Larionov notched an assist for New Jersey and has three helpers in his first two games with the club. Larionov was signed as a free agent before the season to help replace center Joe Nieuwendyk, who will face his former club tonight as a member of the Maple Leafs.
In addition to providing a chance to celebrate the Stanley Cup win, tonight's event will mark a historic milestone for Devils captain Scott Stevens. The warrior defenseman is expected to play in his 1,600th NHL game. Stevens, a Devil since 1991, ranks third all-time in games played among blueliners, trailing only Raymond Bourque (1,612) and Larry Murphy (1,615) in the NHL record books.
The Devils will begin a three-game home set tonight, continuing Saturday versus Tampa Bay.
Toronto, meanwhile, continues the search for its first win. After falling to Montreal Saturday night, the Leafs skated to a 2-2 tie with visiting Washington on Monday.
Nik Antropov and Alexander Mogilny tallied for the Maple Leafs, but the Caps' Robert Lang knotted the contest 8:49 into the third period. Ed Belfour stopped 16 shots in net for Toronto, and needed to make just one save in overtime.
There is some bad news on the injury front for the Leafs, as Mogilny is expected to miss several games with a nagging groin pull. The Russian sniper is with the team on the five-game road trip that begins tonight, and hopes to return before it ends.
Toronto will visit Montreal on Saturday.
Toronto went 3-1 against New Jersey last season, but the Devils are 5-3-2 in the last 10 meetings. The Leafs are 1-3-1 in their last five trips to the Meadowlands.
10/16 10:34:59 ET