FINAL: Rangers 5 Leafs 2

10:53PM: From the Rangers:

- John Tortorella on staying with their game plan…
“I don’t know if the first four games had anything to do with it, I thought we were playing well. It was a matter of staying with it. Their goalie played really well, and we just needed to keep on playing our game. If we scored a couple goals I thought we would win it. We finally did that in the third.”
– Henrik Lundqvist on getting the win…
“It was confidence but still you saw what happened after the first period. We were all over them and they still had a 2-0 lead, but that’s hockey. A couple of quick plays and tough bounces and it’s in your net. Yeah it was a good feeling; it felt like we were playing really well but at the same time they were defending really well. Finally we just put too much pressure on them. We definitely deserve this win, no question. We played such a good game from start to finish.”
– Marc Staal on tonight’s game…
“I think the day off yesterday helped to kind of recharge our batteries. I thought we had a lot more jump today and the forecheck was better. We were just all over those loose pucks and winning races we didn’t win last game. It was good for us to get on the right track.”

9:47PM

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Three Stars:

  • Third: Brad Richards
  • Second: Marc Staal
  • First: Marian Gaborik

Adam’s Thoughts:

  • This was far and away the Rangers best game of the season. They controlled the play, had many offensive chances and if not for a sharp James Reimer, they would have blown the game open in the first period.
  • This was also the Rangers first game against a likely non-playoff.
  • Defensive breakdowns are still leading directly to goals and those need to be corrected.
  • Marc Staal and Michael Del Zotto had a nice third period, to say the least.
  • John Tortorella talked in the pregame, with Sam Rosen, about how he felt the team was lacking some self-confidence and that things could start to snowball in the right direction if they put some good periods together. This is hopefully a game where things will start snowballing in the right way.
  • Rick Nash is a dominant player. He is all-in with this team and fun to watch.
  • The Rangers are 2-0 in their Heritage Jerseys.

Team Notes:
– The Rangers began a three-game homestand tonight with a 5-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden.
– The Blueshirts improved to 2-3-0 (4 pts) overall, including a 2-1-0 mark at MSG this season.
– The Rangers have now recorded a point in 11 of their last 13 meetings with the Maple Leafs, posting a record of 9-2-2 over the span. New York has out-scored Toronto, 48-25, during the stretch.
– New York notched four goals in the third period, their most in a single period since tallying four goals in the first period of a 5-3 win at Philadelphia on April 3, 2012.
– The Blueshirts are now 2-1-0 against Original Six opponents this season. New York has nine scheduled games against Original Six teams in 2013.
– The Rangers out-shot the Maple Leafs, 42-17, in the contest, including a 14-3 advantage in the first period and a 17-8 advantage in the third. Rick Nash led all skaters with a Rangers’ season-high, eight shots on goal.
Player Notes:
– Marian Gaborik notched two goals, including the game-winning goal and an empty netter, added two assists, registered five shots on goal and posted a plus-four rating in 22:34 of ice time. He extended his point streak to three games, tallying eight points (five goals, three assists) over the span. It is the 14th time in Gaborik’s career he posted four or more points in a game. Gaborik now leads the team and is tied for fifth in the league in scoring with eight points, and is tied for second in the NHL with five goals.
– Marc Staal tallied the game-tying goal at 7:36 of the third period, added the primary assist on Gaborik’s game-winning goal and posted a plus-four rating in 25:47 of ice time. He has now recorded three points (one goal, two assists) in the last three games. Staal was also credited with three hits and two blocked shots in the contest.
– Brad Richards registered a goal and an assist, and posted a plus-four rating in 22:01 of ice time. He now ranks second on the team in scoring with six points (two goals, four assists) in five games this season.
– Rick Nash tallied two assists, a game-high, eight shots on goal, three hits and a plus-four rating in 22:54 of ice time. He now leads the team and is tied for second in the NHL with 23 shots on goal this season.
– Michael Del Zotto recorded two assists and a plus-four rating in a team-high, 26:40 of ice time. He has now tallied four assists in the last four games, and is tied for fourth among NHL defensemen with four assists on the season.
– Henrik Lundqvist made 15 saves to improve to 2-3-0 overall, including a 2-1-0 mark at home this season. He is now 2-1-0 with a 2.35 goals against average and a .911 save percentage in the last three games.
– Derek Stepan registered his 100th career NHL point with an assist, and won 4-7 faceoffs (57%) in 17:31 of ice time.
Brian Boyle notched a goal, led all skaters with seven hits and won a game-high, 12-20 faceoffs (60%) in 16:04 of ice time.
– Dan Girardi tallied an assist, registered four shots on goal, and was credited with three hits and four blocked shots in 24:49 of ice time.