Rangers avenge loss with big road win over Maple Leafs 5-2
A week after one of the most lopsided losses of the season, the New York Rangers were able to exact revenge on the Maple Leafs, leaving Toronto with a 5-2 victory on Tuesday night.
Mika Zibanejad scored twice, Erik Gustafsson had three assists and the Rangers’ power play delivered twice in two opportunities.
But it was a pretty goal from an unlikely source in Braden Schneider, who broke a 2-2 tie 8:08 into the third period to lift the Rangers to their third straight victory since that loss against the Leafs seven days ago.
“We had it circled,” said Schneider, who broke a 22-game goal slump. “We thought we owed them one. It was a game we wanted to get back at them for and we did just that.”
New York Rangers 5 vs Toronto Maple Leafs 2
New York had a strong first period but were unable to solve Martin Jones, who turned in a strong game a week prior in New York. But things — and luck — changed in the second.
The Rangers scored twice, both on deflections off Toronto players. A Blake Wheeler shot clipped off Zibanejad and had just enough speed to find the back of the net at 6:11 of the middle frame.
After Auston Matthews tied the game just 1:21 later, it was Alexis Lafreniere getting a bounce to go his way.
With New York on the power play, Lafreniere fired a shot from the top of the circle, which caught Morgan Rielly’s knee and found a hole though Martin Jones to put the Rangers up 2-1 and snap a 12-game goal drought in the process at 9:50. It also marked the 5th straight game where the Rangers scored on the man-advantage.
The Rangers held the lead into the opening moments of the third period until Matthews’ second evened the score again.
Schneider’s goal opened the gates for the Rangers. Artemi Panarin’s power play tally extended the lead at 15:08 before Zibanejad’s empty-net tally at 16:47 put the game on ice.
“The power play is pretty good right now,” said Gustafsson after beating his former team. “It’s good to have both units … stepping up.”
All told, it was a complete team effort for New York, who saw 10 players register at least a point.
Possibly no one was better than Igor Shesterkin, who made 31 saves for his second straight victory. He saved some of his best work for last, turning in 10 saves in the third period.
We needed some big saves and I thought he was excellent tonight,” coach Peter Laviolette said.
The Rangers have two games remaining before the holiday break, Friday night against the Oilers and Saturday against Buffalo.
- Igor Shesterkin looked sharp stopping 31 of 33 shots
- Mika Zibanejad’s 2 goals gives him 5 in his last 5 games
- Artemi Panarin’s PPG extends his point streak to 6 games (1 goal, 5 assists)
- Braden Schneider’s goal was the second game-winner of his career
- Blake Wheeler registered 2 assists and now has 2 goals and 3 assists in 4 games
New York has a scheduled day off on Wednesday before returning to practice the next day at 11:00 a.m. ET. The Rangers will then host the Edmonton Oilers on Friday with a 7:30 p.m. ET puck drop.