Sharangovich, Devils defeat Maple Leafs in OT for 11th straight win
Yegor Sharangovich scored 57 seconds into overtime to give the New Jersey Devils their 11th straight win, 3-2 against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on Thursday.
Sharangovich put in a rebound in the slot from Jack Hughes’ shot for the win.
“I think it’s really good for the team because we keep it going,” Sharangovich said. “… Jack played well in overtime, I thought he might get this goal but I just put it back into the empty net. At first, I thought it was no goal because the referee’s hand was up.”
“We just do [our job] all three periods … playing good hockey, quick hockey and we didn’t give Toronto space and time and we have chances after turnovers, but we found our third goal in overtime.”
It is the Devils’ longest winning streak since they won 11 in a row in 2005-06 and two wins shy of their record of 13 set in 2000-01.
Jesper Bratt and Nico Hischier scored for the Devils (14-3-0). Vitek Vanecek made 25 saves to win his eighth consecutive decision.
“We are a good team, a really good team,” Hischier said. “We believe in each other here and we’re playing some really good hockey and it’s not going to be easy playing against us.
“Definitely lots of eyes on us here (in Toronto) but we just try to focus on our game. For us, it doesn’t really matter who we are playing. We try to come out with a consistent game plan, we always have, and just try to play our Devils hockey game and we’ve been doing that lately and that’s why we have this record.”
Mitchell Marner extended his point streak to 11 games and Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs (9-5-4), who were 5-1-1 in their previous seven games. Matt Murray made 30 saves in his second start after missing 14 games with an adductor muscle injury.
“At times it was a pretty close game, kind of back and forth,” Matthews said. “We had some good possession time with the puck in the second, in the first not so much. I don’t know, it was honestly a weird game to be honest. I thought especially in the third period when we were trying to push back and down a goal, we just couldn’t get much going. Obviously a big goal though to send it into overtime.”
Hischier put the Devils up 2-1 at 3:02 of the second period when he shot past Murray’s glove from the left hashmarks.
Murray made a left toe save on Hughes at 1:32 of the third period to keep the Maple Leafs within a goal.
William Nylander tied it at 17:51 of the third period when his shot from just above the right face-off dot deflected off Jonas Siegenthaler.
“The next couple of shifts we were right back at it,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said, of his team’s response after allowing the tying goal. “If there was a negative in the game, it would have been some of our executions on our high-quality chances, our 2-on-1’s, 3-on-1’s. I really thought we had a great opportunity to put the game away [in regulation]. Murray made an unbelievable save on Jack to keep the game 2-1.”
The Maple Leafs went up 1-0 at 15:15 of the first period when Matthews put in a pass from Michael Bunting in the slot on the power play. Marner also had an assist to extend his point streak.
Bratt tied it 1-1 at 15:39 when he took a cross-ice pass from Erik Haula, who stole the puck from Mark Giordano along the sideboards, and shot over Murray’s right shoulder from the slot.
“I thought the difference is that we beat ourselves at times and gave them three goals and they didn’t beat themselves at all,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “That’s how you win 11 in a row, you don’t beat yourself.
“I am concerned about it. We’ve shown here lately that we can win games and beat really good teams. This is the best team in the NHL right now and despite the fact for me we didn’t play a great hockey game, we got a point and we’re right there. But we’ve got to stop beating ourselves.”
Hischier said the winning streak is fueling the Devils to keep improving.
“Just how fun it is to come to the rink and work on details and work as a group to get better,” the Devils captain said. “Even though you’re winning, it just makes the job way more easier to listen and even want to be better so you win more because it is such a good feeling.”
Thursday night lines pic.twitter.com/wF1H08ARIb
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) November 17, 2022
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) November 18, 2022