January 11, 2019 / 3:14 AM / 4 months ago

Tavares scores 300th as Maple Leafs handle Devils

EditorsNote: 9th graf, take out extra ‘a’; 12th graf, change ‘Jerseys’ to ‘Jersey’s’

John Tavares scored two goals — including the 300th of his NHL career — and had an assist as the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs held off the New Jersey Devils 4-2 Thursday night.

Ron Hainsey and Mitch Marner also scored for the Maple Leafs, who won all three of their meetings this season with the Devils.

Marner, who scored his 16th goal this season into an empty net at 19:38 of the third period, also had an assist.

The Maple Leafs led 3-0 after the first period, but the Devils rallied on second-period goals by Blake Coleman and Brian Boyle.

Michael Hutchinson made 27 saves in the Toronto goal. It was his fourth straight start because of injuries to No. 1 goaltender Frederik Andersen and backup Garret Sparks. He is 2-2-0.

Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid stopped 39 shots.

Hainsey scored his fourth goal this season on a 50-foot slap shot from the left point at 4:30 of the first period with the teams playing with four skaters each. Zach Hyman, who played the puck back to the point off the boards, and Connor Brown earned the assists.

Tavares scored his 300th career goal at 7:21 of the first period, gathering a rebound from Jake Gardiner’s shot and waiting for an opening before sliding in a backhand.

Marner and Morgan Rielly used some precise passing in combining to set up Tavares, who shot from the right circle for his 29th goal this season at 19:53 of the second.

Tavares was denied a possible third goal approaching the midway point of the second period when Kinkaid stopped his backhander on a rebound of Marner’s point-blank shot after a Toronto two-on-one.

Coleman scored his 14th goal for New Jersey at 16:07 of the second period, backhanding the rebound of Andy Greene’s point shot following Miles Wood’s cross-ice pass.

The Devils scored again 26 seconds later on Boyle’s 12th after Gardiner’s turnover at New Jersey’s blue line. Blake Pietila dropped a pass to Boyle, who shot over Hutchinson’s shoulder.

Kinkaid again made a big save on Tavares during the third period.

—Field Level Media

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