NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, October 21st (All times eastern)
New York Rangers (1-2-1) at Toronto Maple Leafs (4-0-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs were dealt their first loss of the 2010-11 season their last time out, but they can keep another streak alive tonight when they host the struggling New York Rangers at Air Canada Centre.
The Maple Leafs won four in a row to kick off the year, but were dealt an overtime loss Monday by the visiting New York Islanders. Toronto can earn a point for the sixth straight game tonight and would like to do so by returning to the win column.
Toronto was handed a 2-1 setback by the Isles thanks to John Tavares' power- play goal with 1:34 left in the extra session. With Brett Lebda in the box serving an interference penalty, P.A. Parenteau got the puck back to the middle point to James Wisniewski, who passed to Tavares for a one-timer that beat Jean-Sebastien Giguere on the blocker side.
Phil Kessel helped Toronto get to overtime by tying the contest with his fifth goal of the season with just 2:05 left in regulation. Giguere finished with 18 saves.
"We have a big point," Giguere said. "Their goalie played really well for them, so I think we got to stick with the positive and the positive is we were able to get a big point and we're going to keep going forward."
Giguere and backup goaltender Jonas Gustavsson will each get a start in the next two games for Toronto, but it's unclear who will go tonight and who will start Saturday's test in Philadelphia.
The Maple Leafs are 2-0-1 as the host this year after going 18-17-6 at ACC last year.
The banged-up Rangers enter tonight having lost their last three games (0-2-1) since opening the season with a 6-3 victory in Buffalo. The Blueshirts also played on Monday and were dealt a 3-1 setback by the Colorado Avalanche, who received a pair of goals from Chris Stewart.
Alex Frolov scored for the Rangers, while Henrik Lundqvist allowed all three goals on 34 shots in defeat.
New York is without captain Chris Drury for six weeks due to a broken finger and fellow forward Marian Gaborik will also miss three weeks with a separated shoulder. Both players suffered the injuries in last Friday's overtime loss to the Maple Leafs and join winger Vinny Prospal (right knee) on the shelf.
The Rangers have split a pair of road games this year after going 20-16-5 as the guest in 2009-10. New York will visit Boston on Saturday before returning to Madison Square Garden for a three-game homestand.
Including last Friday's game at MSG, the Maple Leafs have won two of three and five of the last eight encounters with the Blueshirts. The Rangers have dropped three of four in Toronto.
10/21 10:49:30 ET