The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-4 in overtime on Friday night. Captain John Tavares has picked up three points in each of his last two games for the first time this season and now has 11 multi-point games this season. The Leafs’ offence has been unstoppable as of late as they have averaged 5.33 goals per game over their last six games. The Leafs are riding a six game winning streak for the first time since 2017.

Nylander’s Bounce Back Season

William Nylander had a horrific shortened season last year when he sat out until December due to contract negotiations. He managed just 27 points in 54 games last season. This season, Nylander has already surpassed his point total from last season in 15 fewer games. He picked up three points in Friday’s game against the Devils including the game-winning goal in overtime. Nylander has had two 3-point games in his last four games and is on pace to finish the season with a career-high 32 goals and a career-high 65 points.

Hutchinson Gaining Confidence

Goaltender Michael Hutchinson couldn’t have had a worse start to his 2019-2020 season. He went 0-5-1 in his first six starts and surrendered a minimum of four goals in each of his first six starts. Leafs’ new head coach Sheldon Keefe has made it a primary objective to get Hutchinson’s confidence back and put him in a position to succeed.

Keefe elected to start Hutchinson on Friday night against the Devils who have won just 12 of their 37 games this season and sit dead last in the Metropolitan division. Keefe also figured it was an advantage to play Hutchinson on the front half of a back-to-back since the Leafs have another game against the Rangers on Saturday night. Although Hutchinson allowed four goals on 28 shots against the Devils, all four goals were high quality scoring chances and he did make some key saves to keep the Leafs in the game. Hutchinson picked up his second consecutive win for the first time since February 24, 2018 when he was a member of the Winnipeg Jets.

Mikheyev Out Long-Term

Ilya Mikheyev suffered a scary injury on Friday night when Devils’ winger Jesper Bratt’s skate sliced Mikheyev’s wrist. Mikheyev immediately skated to the Leafs’ bench leaving a trail of blood behind. He spent the night in a New Jersey hospital and it was announced Saturday morning that Mikheyev had successful surgery to repair an artery and tendons in his wrist.

The 25-year-old Russian winger is expected to miss a minimum of three months. This is a huge blow to the Leafs as Mikheyev has really impressed in his first NHL season. He was on pace for 17 goals and 48 points this season and had quickly become a fan favourite in Toronto. Fingers crossed that Mikheyev will be completely recovered by the time the NHL playoffs roll around.

It’s looking as though Adam Brooks will be making his NHL debut on Saturday night against the New York Rangers, replacing Ilya Mikheyev on the Leafs’ roster. Frederik Andersen will get the nod against the Rangers as the Leafs look to increase their winning streak to seven games.