New York Rangers lose in the shootout to the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto

Mar 2, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers forward Vincent Trochek (16) scores a goal
Mar 2, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers forward Vincent Trochek (16) scores a goal / Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

A fun game in Toronto ultimately ends up with the New York Rangers falling in the shootout at the hands of the Maple Leafs. Taking a point is always a good sign, but this game was there for the winning. It's not what the Rangers wanted, but the lead at the top of the Metropolitan Division is extended with this point after the Hurricanes lost to the Jets.

Everything started well for the Rangers in the first period when Adam Fox was able to stop the Maple Leafs from clearing the puck. He knocked it down and was able to skate onto it allowing the Rangers to set up a dangerous chance. On a partial change, Fox picked out Alexis Lafreniere who run a shot off the metal, but the puck crossed the line in doing so, giving the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the first period.

Toronto would even it up in the second. Mitchell Marner was allowed to cruise into the slot, and had a fan of the initial shot. It forced the defenders and Igor to bite, creating a gap between the legs of the Russian netminder. Marner was able to regain control of the puck and fire it between the legs of the former Vezina Trophy winner to tie this game up at one.

New York would get it right back as a long stretch pass found Artemi Panarin. Panarin dropped the puck back to Alexis Lafreniere who was in the area he scored from in the first period, forcing Ilya Samsonov to respect the shot. He then dished it over to Vincent Trocheck who just blasted the puck home past the Leafs Russian netminder to restore the Rangers lead north of the border. It's the second line carrying the load for the Rangers again.

Toronto would not go without a fight. A shot from the point was the deadly snipe here. Igor had a crowd in front of him and couldn't see the puck to begin with, but the Rangers couldn't stop the shot despite the best efforts of Erik Gustafsson. It simply clipped the stick of the former Maple Leaf before passing Shesterkin and finding its way into the net behind the Rangers shot-stopper.

Toronto would grab its first lead of the night in the third period. Bobby McMann would win a battle at the side of the net to get the puck over to Calle Jarnkrok. Jarnkork's shot would deflect off of the Ranger captain Jacob Trouba. The loose puck would then find its way off the Maple Leaf captain John Tavares and into the back of the Ranger net to make it a 3-2 Leafs lead with 12 minutes to go.

With the net empty, the Rangers would tie the game up. Just 67 seconds remained when Trocheck won an offensive zone faceoff. It was passed around at the point, before Artemi Panarin's shot was deflected by Lafreniere. It was comfortably stopped by Ilya Samsonov, but Vincent Trocheck would put the puck home on the rebound for his second of the night, putting the Blueshirts back on level terms, sending this game to overtime.

Ultimately, overtime did not separate the teams, but it did see the Rangers take the most creative too many men penalty in NHL history to deny an odd-man rush. In the shootout, William Nylander and Artemi Panarin both came up empty in round one, Auston Matthews would get stopped in round two, allowing Mika Zibanejad to score to take the lead. Mitch Marner would come in, and get the puck up and over Shesterkin, but it was reviewed to see if it was still in his control. It was and when Alexis Lafreniere couldn't score in round 3, this game was going to continue. Max Domi would score in round 4, but Vincent Trocheck hit the post, allowing the Leafs to take the extra point.