Toronto improved to 3-0-0 Monday with a 4-3 overtime home win over the Blackhawks. New Jersey has been turning heads on the heels of a disastrous 2016-17 season, scoring three times on the power play in its opener before riding a four-goal second period in a 6-2 rout of Buffalo on Monday afternoon.
The key moment came late in the period after the Devils took two minor penalties on one play. Frederik Andersen will get the start versus New Jersey, against which he owns a 3-0-0 mark with a.949 save percentage in his career.
Jake Gardiner was unable to keep the puck in at the New Jersey blue line and two Devils broke in.
Rutta scored 3:46 into the game when he wheeled around the back of the net and tossed the puck out front, where it hit Toronto center Mitch Marner's stick and squeaked through Andersen and the post.
The Devils trailed early, when the faced their first deficit this season on a James van Riemsdyk power-play goal 8:33 into the first period.
Auston Matthews, with his third of the season, cut it to 5-3 with 6:26 remaining and the Maple Leafs on a two-man advantage.
Which means van Riemsdyk is spending a lot of time sitting at his locker being asked about his contract status by the Toronto media.
Van Riemsdyk and Dominic Moore also scored for Toronto (3-1-0) before 19,103 at the Air Canada Centre.
"We didn't have any snap, we didn't have any juice, we didn't win any battles", Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. "As the game went on we got better and better and that's the way you want to play". "And that's exactly what I expected". That's what we deserved tonight. New Jersey answered 34 seconds later when Wood tipped in Steven Santini's shot from the point. He scored two goals just 1:38 apart.
In his second tour of duty in Toronto, Andersen was fully healthy in the offseason, and able to fully prepare for what and the Leafs hope is a long year.
"At this point, I'm just focused on playing and letting my agent handle all that stuff", van Riemsdyk said. Gibbons managed to score on a five-on-three shorthanded situation, which makes him the first player in the Devils' franchise history to do so. The 1917-18 team scored 27.
In what has been a chaotic, fun, high scoring opening week of the National Hockey League season, these two teams had each scored 15 goals through two games entering Monday's contest.
NOTES: The game was the 6,500th in Maple Leafs history. He is off to a great start already this season and been at the forefront of Toronto's strong start. Devils rookie defenseman Will Butcher had two assists.