FINAL SCORE- New York Rangers:7, Toronto Maple Leafs:1
After a very disappointing loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Rangers looked to bounce back tonight against the Maple Leafs. Right off the start the Rangers took control of the play and used their speed and worked together with their linemates to get things done (I know, what a concept, right?). Well, the Rangers hard work and determination finally paid off as Carl Hagelin scored his tenth goal of the season off of a deflection from Dan Girardi to make it 1-0. Hagelin is now the third player on the Rangers to have 10 goals on the season. From there, the Rangers continued their hard work and dominated the play. Once again the Rangers work paid off and Dominic Moore scores from the far side of the face off circle to make it 2-0 with 4:03 left in the first period. The Rangers would hold this lead going into the second period.
The Rangers kept the play going in the second period. Cam Talbot got the start tonight and made some very big saves to keep the Rangers lead at two in the opening minutes of the period. After some back and forth play between the Rangers and the Maple Leafs, Benoit Pouliot scored a goal after Marc Staal sent over a brilliant centering pass that Pouliot just slid into the net with 9:21 left in the period. Continuing their solid play in the period, Chris Kreider put on the jets and sped around the Maple Leafs defense and scored to increase the lead to four with about five minutes to play in the second period. You thought the scoring was over? You thought wrong, because two minutes Dominic Moore came down the right side with a similar play that Kreider just made and scored his second goal of the night to make the score 5-0 for the Rangers. One minute later, with 2:18 seconds left in the game, Joffrey Lupul came down the right side and went top shelf over Cam Talbot and broke the shutout bid and shortened the lead to 5-1.
The third period started off slow, but the game eventually picked up, especially towards the mid-point as Brad Richards scored a goal nine minutes into the period to break his 12 game goal scoring drought to extend the lead to 6-1. After that goal the game seemed somewhat boring, when all of a sudden Chris Kreider and Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf dropped the gloves, and Kreider won the fight! Adding insult to injury, on the power play with less than four minutes to go in the game, Brian Boyle broke a 27 game scoreless drought and to make it 7-1. Holding on to their six goal lead, the Rangers won three games of their last four and head home to the Madison Square Garden to play the Columbus Blue Jackets.
My Three Stars of the game:
1) Cam Talbot
2) Dominic Moore
3) Chris Kreider