Posted 2017-12-23 10:49 AM (#690916) Subject: Game 36: Toronto Maple Leafs @ New York Rangers 12/23/17 - 7pm - MSG/NHLN-US/CBC
Rangers (19-12-4, 42 pts) vs Maple Leafs (21-14-1, 43 pts) 7 pm, Madison Square Garden MSG Network; ESPN 98.7 FM
The Rangers will play host to the Toronto Maple Leafs in an Original Six matchup at Madison Square Garden in the final game before the three-day holiday break.
New York is coming off a brilliant performance by goaltender Henrik Lundqvist that afforded them a point in a 4-3 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night. The Blueshirts held two, one-goal advantages before surrendering the lead in the third and ultimately losing in the skills competition when Brian Boyle beat Lundqvist.
The Rangers will be without forward Jesper Fast for up to three weeks after the winger suffered a quad strain in the match with the Devils. Boo Nieves will return to the lineup and no recall is expected before the the Christmas recess.
Tonight marks the second of three matchups between the Rangers and Maple Leafs, and the first of two straight at The Garden. The teams last met on Oct. 7, with Toronto taking a wild 8-5 decisions at the Air Canada Centre.
The Maples have been a .500 team over their last 10 games, with just one win in their last five games, including a 4-2 loss three days ago against the Columbus Blue Jackets. They currently sit second in the Atlantic Division, nine points behind Tampa Bay and two points ahead of Boston, who has three games in hand.
Sophomore Auston Matthews leads the team with 26 points despite missing 10 games. He hasn't played since Dec. 9, though he could return to the lineup tonight against the Rangers. Fellow second-year player Mitch Marner is tied for second on the team with 25 points.
Goaltender Frederik Andersen is expected to get the start. He's 18-10-1 with a 2.61 and a .923 SV% with three shutouts.
Players to Watch
Mats Zuccarello enters tonight's game on a five-game point streak, and seven points in his last seven games. Zuccarello has a point in eight of his last nine games against the Maple Leafs, posting nine goals and 10 assists during that span. He has 20 points in 14 career games against Toronto.
As stated, Matthews may return to the Toronto lineup tonight after missing the last six games due to injury. He practiced on Friday and all signs point to a return. The 20-year-old had 13 goals in 26 games before his injury.
"He's someone you have to be aware of when he's in the lineup. He's someone who can change the game at any moment and I think he's a key part of their team." Kevin Shattenkirk on Auston Matthews.
Posted 2017-12-23 12:19 PM (#690918 - in reply to #690916) Subject: Re: Game 36: Toronto Maple Leafs @ New York Rangers 12/23/17 - 7pm - MSG/NHLN-US/CBC
Said it for months. Fontaine is going to be a bigger version of Fast for us. People are going to love this kid. Might take him 2- 2 1//2 years in the AHL but this kid is going to be a pain in the ass to play against. The fact he got such a long look in the pre-season tells me he's thickhead AV's type of player.
Posted 2017-12-23 3:54 PM (#690920 - in reply to #690916) Subject: Re: Game 36: Toronto Maple Leafs @ New York Rangers 12/23/17 - 7pm - MSG/NHLN-US/CBC
Can't wait to listen to Sam and Joe tonight, and see if they can suck any harder on Holden's gock. Listening to them, you'd think Holden was the second coming of Kevin Lowe. I know Sam doesn't see too well these days, but Holden's giveaways are pretty obvious every game.
Hard10 (55) and Hard4 (22) are killing this team with their lack of defense and poor puck management. Would not be surprised to see Toronto get many quality chances tonight. Henrik will need to be great again tonight to give the Rangers a chance to win.
Posted 2017-12-23 9:46 PM (#690993 - in reply to #690916) Subject: Re: Game 36: Toronto Maple Leafs @ New York Rangers 12/23/17 - 7pm - MSG/NHLN-US/CBC
Get ready for an ugly second half. Henrek getting pounded with shots and crease crashes every night. I don’t know how a team can look so good at different times and so bad so often. But that’s Vigneault teams MO since his Vancouver days.
Posted 2017-12-24 8:32 AM (#690997 - in reply to #690996) Subject: Re: Game 36: Toronto Maple Leafs @ New York Rangers 12/23/17 - 7pm - MSG/NHLN-US/CBC
Mikey Red - 2017-12-23 9:44 PM
Yep Thanks to Sather, Gorton and AV....the bottom is about to fall out
All these real good performances by Lundqvist are going to waste. The Rangers are going to have to play at a better clip for the rest of the season, than they have up til now to make the playoffs. I don't see that happening, more likely it will be a second half swoon like last season.