Rangers and Stepan get set to take on Toronto (NYR at TOR 7pm)

Girardi will need to keep Kessel in check (FRED THORNHILL/REUTERS)

Girardi will need to keep Kessel in check (FRED THORNHILL/REUTERS)

Derek Stepan returns to the Rangers lineup tonight after missing 12 games with a broken leg. If yesterday’s practice was any indication, he will play with Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello.

Game 13: New York Rangers at Toronto Maple Leafs, Air Canada Centre – 7PM

Daily Faceoff’s Goalie Matchup

– Note click the Daily Faceoff link throughout the day for confirmed starters

NYR v TML via Daily Faceoff

NYR v TML via Daily Faceoff

News & Notes


Derek Stepan (Scott Levy / Getty)

Derek Stepan (Scott Levy / Getty)

1. Derek Stepan – The Rangers main man in the middle missed most of preseason and the start of the regular season. Temper your expectations tonight about what he can produce. He had a slow start after he held out last year, I expect minimal offensive returns early. Keep your eye on his foot speed tonight, as that’s the concern. He will help on draws and in the defensive zone.

2. Anthony Duclair – Remember when AV said that he would only be here if he was playing top 9 minutes? Well, he’s on the 4th line and hasn’t been playing very much. Start the conversations about sending him to juniors or not.

3. Carl Hagelin – He’s having a very difficult season, but his speed could give the Leafs defense fits. Tonight is a good night for Hags to get on the scoreboard.


Tyler Bozak (Photo:Abelimages/Getty Images)

Tyler Bozak (Photo:Abelimages/Getty Images)

1. Tyler Bozak – Yes, Phil Kessel is their big gun with 18 points in 13 games, but Bozak is a man to mark too. He has 12 points on the year and is a key offensive catalyst for the Leafs in the middle.

2. Nazem Kadri – Thus far the Leafs’ talented winger has only 4 goals and 5 points on the year. His size and speed mean he’s always a danger on the ice. Don’t sleep on him because of his poor start. If the Rangers do, he could pot a couple tonight.

3. Cody Franson – The Toronto blue-liner leads the Leafs’ defense in scoring with 6 points and is hot coming in to the contest. He has 1 and 2 assists in his last 2 games.


Hockeydamus is in a grove folks as the Forecast is 8-4 on the season.

The Leafs have picked up points in 4 of their last 5 (3-1-1) and they even beat the Blackhawks in the process. So, they’re playing some decent hockey lately.

When the Rangers and Leafs face-off though, it almost feels like one side will blow out the other. NY fell to Toronto in their home-opener 6-3, so I’m expecting a lttle desire for payback here.

I’m also expecting a wild one too. I’m looking for an offensive outburst by the Blueshirts here, particularly the top line of Nash, Brass and MSL. Talbot will keep the Leafs in it but the Rangers win this one 6-4.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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