NHL Game Summary - NY Rangers at Toronto
(Saturday, December 16th)
Final Score: Toronto 9, NY Rangers 2
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Kyle Wellwood and Alexei Ponikarovsky both had career nights, posting five points apiece, as the Toronto Maple Leafs demolished the New York Rangers, 9-2, at Air Canada Centre for their most lopsided victory of the season.
A total of 13 of 18 dressed players for Toronto had at least one point on the night, and it was Toronto's highest goal output since a 9-6 win over the New York Islanders on December 19, 2005.
Wellwood notched his first career hat trick and added two assists, and Ponikarovsky tallied two goals and three assists for the Leafs, who have won three straight following a seven-game slide. They have outscored the opposition 19-9 during the winning streak and have scored seven power play goals in their last 17 opportunities.
Mats Sundin added three assists and Andrew Raycroft made 11 saves while facing just 13 shots.
Darius Kasparaitis had a goal and an assist and Martin Straka also tallied for the Rangers, who saw a six-game winning streak snapped. Jaromir Jagr assisted on both goals.
Henrik Lundqvist had a disastrous night in goal, stopping just 16-of-24 shots before he was replaced by Kevin Weekes in the third period. Weekes allowed one goal on eight chances.
A five-goal outburst in the first period staked Toronto to a 5-1 lead after 20 minutes of play.
The Leafs drew first blood, when Carlo Colaiacovo then skated in alone and stuffed the puck past Lundqvist at the 5:33 mark for his first goal of the season.
Just 27 seconds later, a no-look pass from Sundin to Ponikarovsky put Toronto up 2-0, as the left winger slipped the puck between Lundqvist's pads.
New York closed the gap to 2-1 on Kasparaitis' backhand shot at 11:16. The defenseman took a drop pass from Jaromir Jagr, then sent a shot toward the net that trickled between the legs of Raycroft, who got tangled up with Ian White in the crease.
Wellwood's slapshot put Toronto up 3-1 with 5:41 left to play in the opening stanza. The center also added a tally at 16:38, as the Leafs skated on the two-man advantage, and John Pohl capped the flurry with a marker just 15 seconds later.
Wellwood completed the hat trick at 5:19 in the second period, banging home a rebound off a shot by Sundin. Darcy Tucker followed up by taking advantage of another New York turnover, netting his 19th of the season on a snapshot at 9:51.
"It just seemed like there was a lot of room out on the ice, and a lot of clear chances to shoot," said Wellwood. "That doesn't happen very often for me."
Ponikarovsky made it 8-1, beating a screened Lundqvist on a low slapshot with 6:33 to play in the middle stanza.
Straka added a fairly meaningless Ranger goal at 3:52 in the final frame, with Jagr and Kasparaitis getting the assists.
Jeff O'Neill cashed in on a rebound attempt with eight seconds left in the contest to cap the scoring.
Tucker left the game late in the second period after blocking a shot with his left hand. He did not return but the injury is not serious and Tucker is expected to play Tuesday against Florida...In a matchup featuring some statistical anomalies, both teams came into the contest with 104 goals and the exact same power-play efficiency on the season (34 for 175)...The Maple Leafs finished 3-for-6 on the man-advantage, while New York was 0- for-5...The season series is tied 1-1...The attendance was 19,468.
12/16 22:25:10 ET