NHL Game Summary - Toronto at NY Rangers
(Thursday, December 6th)
Final Score: Toronto 6, NY Rangers 2
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Nik Antropov registered his second career hat trick, as Toronto routed the New York Rangers, 6-2, in an original six matchup at Madison Square Garden.
Mats Sundin, Alexander Steen and Matt Stajan all recorded a goal and an assist for Toronto, which extended its winning streak to a season-best four games, outscoring the opposition 17-7 during that stretch. Alexei Ponikarovsky and Hal Gill each chipped in two assists, while Vesa Toskala allowed two goals on 25 shots.
Daniel Girardi and Fedor Tyutin scored for the Rangers, who have dropped two in a row. Scott Gomez and Chris Drury each recorded two assists. Henrik Lundqvist yielded four goals on only 10 shots and was replaced by Steve Valiquette at the start of the third period. Valiquette finished the game by allowing a pair of goals on six chances.
"Give Toronto credit, they played a perfect road game," said Gomez. "Their special teams were great. Every mistake we (made), they capitalized on."
After letting the Rangers tie the game at the end of the first, the Maple Leafs regained the lead, 3-2, on Antropov's power-play goal at the 5:11 mark of the middle stanza.
Toronto extended its lead to 4-2 off a deflection with 3:20 remaining in the second. Ian White fired the puck from the right point, but it was redirected by Antropov, causing the puck to slide through the five-hole of Lundqvist.
Antropov completed his natural hat trick on the power play at the 3:34 mark of the third with a perfect deflection. Antropov was parked in front of the net and redirected Pavel Kubina's shot over Valiquette's glove to give Toronto a comfortable 5-2 advantage. . Steen provided the exclamation point with 1:16 remaining.
"Play simple hockey and get the puck to the net," said Antropov, describing how the Maple Leafs played tonight.
The Maple Leafs got on the board 3:30 into the opening period on Stajan's seventh goal of the season. With a delayed penalty on Scott Gomez, Chad Kilger's shot from the left circle appeared to handcuff Lundqvist and no one picked up Stajan in front of the net. Stajan scooped up the rebound and lifted the puck over the right shoulder of Lundqvist.
New York's lethargic play continued in the first, as Gill was allowed to enter the offensive zone unimpeded and collect his own rebound. Gill then fired the puck from the right boards and Sundin banged home the rebound at the side of the cage. The goal was Sundin's team-leading 14th of the season and gave Toronto a 2-0 lead with 9:24 remaining.
The Rangers mounted a comeback via the power play.
Girardi made it a 2-1 game when he floated in from the right point and one- timed Gomez's feed from below the left circle past Toskala with 3:36 left in the first.
Then, with 1:16 left before the first intermission, Gomez found Tyutin between the circles and his shot beat Toskala through the five-hole, tying the game at two.
Toronto improves to 8-3-3 when scoring first...Toronto owns a 5-2-1 mark against the Atlantic Division...Sundin has three goals and seven points during his five-game point streak...Antropov has scored a goal in three straight games and extended his point streak to five games...Toronto has won four of the last six meetings...The Rangers have been outscored 16-9 in their last five games at the Garden (1-4-0)...New York visits Atlanta on Friday...Toronto hosts Boston on Saturday.
12/06 23:22:26 ET