The New York Rangers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 tonight at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. With the win the Rangers continue on a 9 game winning streak and improve to 14-2-2 on the season. With the loss the Leafs fall to 5-9-4 on the season. A nice moment prior to the game there was a moment of silence for the victims of the horrific acts in Paris on Friday night. This was the second time the Leafs and Rangers played this season the previous one being on October 30th, when the Rangers won that game 3-1. These two teams meet again on February 18th at the Air Canada Center.
The Rangers coming off a game last night didn’t come into the game as well as they should’ve and as a result came out of the first period down a goal. The Leafs scored when 17:57 into it Peter Holland went left to right in front of Rangers goalie Anti Raanta and made it a 1-0 game. The Rangers got the goal back early in the 2nd period however when off a 4 on 2 Mats Zuccarello fed Ryan McDonagh who put it past Johnathan Bernier who was completely out of position giving McDonagh a wide open net to tie the game up 1-1. With 8:15 left in the 2nd period Chris Kreider had an absolutely brilliant opportunity right on the doorstep after the dump in and couldn’t control the puck right in front of the open net.
With 6:05 left in the 2nd period Derek Stepan got an absolutely ridiculous goal from center ice which will be on every sports show tomorrow and YouTube forever that somehow got past Bernier to put the Rangers ahead 2-1. The puck trickled through the wickets of Bernier and slid into the net. At about 2:15 left in the in the 2nd Joffrey Lupul put one in the empty net with Anti Raanta out of position to tie the game up 2-2. With 16:25 left in the 3rd period Mats Zuccarello went behind the net and fed it to Derrick Brassard who put his 6th goal of the season past Johnathan Bernier in a great play by Zuccarello to put the Rangers up 3-2. With 14:45 left in the 3rd period right off the faceoff Dion Phaneuf took a shot that was bouncing and might have hit a stick on the way past Anti Raanta. With 54 seconds left in the game Mats Zuccarello beat Bernier to finish the Maple Leafs off and win the game for the Rangers making it a 4-3 final score.
Neither team in this game had a power play goal as the Leafs went 0-3 on their three opportunities and the Rangers went 0-2 on their two chances. The three stars of the game were as follows from number one to number three, Mats Zuccarello, Ryan McDonagh, and finally Dion Phaneuf. The Rangers edged out the Leafs in every category except hits where they had 20 and the Leafs had 23.
The New York Rangers have a few days off after this one before they are in Tampa, Florida on Thursday night for a matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. The Toronto Maple Leafs have a few days off before going home to Toronto for a matchup against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night at the Air Canada Center.