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Maple Leafs brace for matchup with Lundqvist

by Mike Brophy

TORONTO -- It hasn't been the season many expected from the New York Rangers, but with goalie Henrik Lundqvist finding his game, the end result could be a good one.

Lundqvist was sensational Saturday, making 48 saves, including 20 in the third period, as the Rangers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. The Rangers, who are seventh in the Eastern Conference, go back to work Monday, starting a home-and-home set with the fifth-place Maple Leafs in Toronto.

New York defenseman Ryan McDonagh said there is a certain comfort level the Rangers enjoy when Lundqvist is in the zone.

"You enjoy it, but you don't want to rely on it," McDonagh said. "To be a successful team you need to be fundamentally sound in your defensive zone and make smart plays with the puck. We just didn't do that enough last game and he was able to correct our mistakes."

The Maple Leafs are 6-1-3 in their past 10 games and are coming off a hard-fought 2-1 win against the Devils in New Jersey on Saturday. The Rangers were picked by many to be a Stanley Cup favorite this season, but they've struggled at times. That doesn't mean the Maple Leafs will take them lightly.

"I know they'll come and be aggressive," Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said. "They're going to be on the puck. I think that is really the mantra of a John Tortorella-coached hockey club. They want to be in your face and pressure the puck. Their goaltender is coming off what has been described as one of his best games that he has played since he has been a Ranger, and that says a lot. He's a pretty good goaltender who has played a lot of games for them. That is quite a statement."

Here's how the lineups project for the game Monday:


James Van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel

Clarke MacArthur - Nazem Kadri - Nikolai Kulemin

Ryan Hamilton - Mikhail Grabovski - Leo Komarov

Frazer McLaren - Joe Colborne - Colton Orr

Carl Gunnarsson - Dion Phaneuf

Cody Franson - Mark Fraser

Ryan O'Byrne - John-Michael Liles

James Reimer

Ben Scrivens

Scratched: Jake Gardiner, Michael Kostka, Matt Frattin

Injured: Joffrey Lupul (upper body)

Notes: Lupul skated with the Maple Leafs on Monday and is listed as day-to-day. He was hurt last Thursday on a hit during a game against the Philadelphia Flyers. O'Byrne is set to make his debut with the Leafs.


Rick Nash - Derek Stepan - Ryan Callahan

Ryane Clowe - Brad Richards - Mats Zuccarello

Carl Hagelin - Derick Brassard - Brian Boyle

Taylor Pyatt - Darroll Powe - Arron Asham

Michael Del Zotto - Dan Girardi

Ryan McDonagh - Anton Stralman

John Moore - Steve Eminger

Henrik Lundqvist

Martin Biron

Scratched: Roman Hamrlik, Matt Gilroy

Injured: Marc Staal (eye), J.T. Miller (wrist)

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