NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, October 30th
(All times eastern)
New York Rangers (4-4-1) at Toronto Maple Leafs (5-3-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to build some momentum
tonight, when they welcome the New York Rangers for an Original Six battle at
Air Canada Centre.
The Maple Leafs began the 2010-11 campaign by winning four straight, but have
lost four out of five contests (1-3-1) since. Toronto's offense has gone cold
since the season-opening winning streak, as the Leafs have notched just seven
total goals over their last five outings.
Toronto was shut out in its last trip to the ice, dropping a 2-0 decision to
the rival Bruins in Boston on Thursday. Tim Thomas stopped 20 shots to record
his second shutout of the season.
"We just couldn't generate much. You have to give the Bruins a lot of credit.
They are a good defensive team," Leafs head coach Ron Wilson said.
Jonas Gustavsson allowed both goals on 32 shots for the Maple Leafs.
Gustavsson fell to 1-2-0 on the season, although the Swedish netminder is
sporting a strong .921 save percentage and 2.36 goals-against average.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who is 4-1-1 with .908 save percentage and 2.30 GAA,
is expected to get the start tonight for Toronto. Giguere was in net for
Toronto's lone win since the season-opening streak, as he helped the Leafs
record a 3-1 victory over visiting Florida on Tuesday.
Leafs forward Kris Versteeg sat out Thursday's test against the Bruins with a
back injury and could miss tonight's game as well. The former Chicago
Blackhawk has one goal and one assist in eight games this year.
Toronto, which will also host Ottawa in its next game on Tuesday, is 3-1-1 as
the home club this year.
The Rangers, meanwhile, will try to avoid a three-game slide this evening
after dropping the last two tests of a homestand. New York began the three-
game residency with a win over New Jersey, but was then handed losses by
Atlanta and Carolina.
The Hurricanes recorded a 4-3 victory over the Blueshirts on Friday night, as
Erik Cole scored the game-winner with 3:59 to play.
"We did a lot of good things," said New York head coach John Tortorella. "I
still think we have to close up our neutral zones at times. I still think our
gaps need to be better. Defensively we still have to work on things but I am
not unhappy about the work ethic of the hockey club tonight. We did a lot of
good things that way."
Ryan Callahan had a goal and an assist while Brandon Dubinsky and Marc Staal
each lit the lamp for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist was tagged for four goals
on 38 shots in defeat. Lundqvist may get a night off tonight as Tortorella
could opt to start backup Martin Biron for the third time this season.
Callahan enters tonight riding a five-game point streak and has three goals
and five assists over that span. He has recorded multiple-point games in each
of his last three tilts.
New York has been better on the road than at home this season, posting a 3-1-0
record away from MSG.
The Rangers won three out of four against Toronto last season and posted a 2-1
victory in Toronto on Oct. 21. New York has taken four of six in the series
overall, but the Blueshirts have dropped three of their last five tests at Air
10/30 11:24:14 ET