New York Rangers face Maple Leafs in battle of NHL’s most valued teams

Jan 19, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) celebrates his goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs with teammates during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers already beat the Toronto Maple Leafs once this week. On Wednesday, Forbes announced their list of most valuable NHL franchises with the Blueshirts topping the Leafs by $200,000 at $2.2 billion.

While that’s nice for the owners to brag about, what really matters will be what takes place on the ice at Madison Square Garden on Thursday evening.

Here’s tonight’s game and broadcast info:

New York Rangers (15-10-5) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (19-5-6)
Date/Time: December 15, 2022 at 7:00 PM ET
Arena: Madison Square Garden
TV: MSG
Radio: ESPN 98.7

New York Rangers aim for 5th straight win

new york rangers
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers are aiming for their fifth straight win when they host the Maple Leafs, who rank third overall in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy.

After rallying to beat the rival New Jersey Devils 4-3 in overtime on Monday, they will be tasked with stopping Toronto’s high flying offense led by Mitch Marner. The Leafs forward is riding a franchise record 23 game point scoring streak into tonight’s contest. He’s amassed 11 goals and 21 assists in that span.

“They’re playing really well, one of the hottest teams in the league,” Jimmy Vesey said. “We just have to manage the game well and play our game. Everything else will take care of itself.”

The Rangers are also playing much better hockey riding their longest winning streak of the season, but that pales in comparison with the Maple Leafs.

Heading into this Original Six matchup, Toronto is on a 12-0-3 run. Any points gained tonight will tie a franchise record for longest points streak (16) set during the 2003-04 season.

Igor Shesterkin is once again expected to get the nod in goal for the Blueshirts, who will have a back to back set this weekend. That means Jaroslav Halak is certain to start in one of those contests.

On the year, Shesterkin is 14-4-4 with a GAA of 2.52 and SV% of .916. The reigning Vezina winner is 3-1-0 lifetime versus Toronto with a GAA of 2.23 and a .935 save percentage.

“They’re good,” captain Jacob Trouba said. “High-powered offensive team and they’ve played well defensively too. It’ll be a good test for us.”

No lineup changes are expected which means Vitali Kravtsov will be a healthy scratch again.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore