The New York Rangers got back on the winning side with a dominant 3-0 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night. The Rangers were unhappy with their team effort on Thursday in their loss to the Ottawa Senators, but they corrected those mistakes early and often in this one. The lack of energy and effort that plagued large portions of the game Thursday were gone as the team played with high energy and physicality from the opening drop of the puck until the final horn. On the defensive side the team did an excellent job of minimizing the chances Toronto had to get their own offense going.
Martin Biron made 20 saves for his second shutout of the season while Mike Rupp, Brian Boyle and Derek Stepan provided the scoring. The win for Biron improved him to 9-2 on the season only furthering the notion that he can play any game that coach John Tortorella wants to keep Henrik Lundqvist rested.
Rupp got the Rangers on the board early in the second as he combined with Derek Stepan and Wojtek Wolski to convert the 3-on-1 rush. Ryan McDonagh caught the Leafs in a line change by stepping up in the neutral zone, fed the puck ahead to Stepan who went to Wolski, back to Stepan and finally to Rupp for the finish.
Late in the second Brian Boyle scored for the first time in 23 games by roofing a shot behind Gustavsson. The look of relief on Boyle’s face told the story of just how much the drought was weighing on the 27-year-old forward, but to Boyle’s credit he has been doing everything else of late. Boyle was excellent all-around again tonight as his line had the responsibility of playing against the Lupul-Connolly-Kessel line and they shut them down along with Girardi and McDonagh.
Early in the third the Leafs appeared they might have gotten on the board when Martin Biron slid across during a scramble, but the referees ruled that their was no goal and replays showed no conclusive evidence it had gone in. The goal cam replay appeared to show it might have gone in, but with no conclusive evidence the Leafs remained off the board and the Rangers added to their lead moments later.
Derek Stepan capped the scoring with his 10th goal of the season after Carl Hagelin tipped ahead the Martin Biron outlet pass. The assist was Biron’s third of the season.
- Have to feel good for Boyle getting off the snide when it appeared he could not buy one no matter what he did. He has deserved one for a few weeks with his overall game level and maybe now he will stop pressing so much, leading to a few more.
- Ruslan Fedotenko left the game early in the second period and did not return because of back spasms. No word on whether he will be able to play tomorrow against the Canadiens.