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Leafs Back In Action Against Rangers

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs



MAPLE LEAFS (0-2-0) at RANGERS (1-1-0)

TV/RADIO: NHLN-US, TVA, CITY; MSG, SN590

Season series: The New York Rangers won two of three games against the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. The two games at Madison Square Garden went past regulation, with Toronto winning a shootout March 5 in the most-recent game. This is the Maple Leafs’ only visit to the Garden this season; the Rangers go to Air Canada Centre on Nov. 8 and Feb. 10.

Maple Leafs team scope: Coach Randy Carlyle and his players are probably glad to hit the road for the first time this season after losing their first two games at home. The second loss came Saturday night, when they were blitzed 5-2 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, a result that might have been worse if not for goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who faced 41 shots. James Reimer is likely to get the start against the Rangers, but to avoid a third straight loss, the Maple Leafs will need their top line of Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk to play better. "When the tide of the hockey game swung so hard against our hockey club, we didn't have much of a response," said Carlyle, who took Kessel off the top line during the loss to the Penguins and replaced him with David Clarkson. "You look to those big guys on your team to be able to grab it back for you. And right now, in these two games they've had some difficulty doing that."

Rangers team scope: New York comes home for the first time this season after splitting two road games, winning 3-2 against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday before losing 5-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. The Rangers lost too many net-front battles to the Blue Jackets, who are missing two top-six forwards (Nathan Horton and Boone Jenner). "It was tough to see the goals the way they scored them," Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh said. "That's a good lesson for us. We can't expect to win without playing our 'A' game." The Rangers are expected to play Henrik Lundqvist in goal after backup Cam Talbot lost to the Blue Jackets.

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