MAPLE LEAFS (0-2-0) at RANGERS (1-1-0)
TV: NHLN-US, TVA, CITY; MSG
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.
NEW YORK -- Rick Nash is a game-time decision for the New York Rangers home opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden on Sunday because his wife, Jessica, is in labor.
Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said he received a text message from Nash shortly before 5 p.m. ET saying the birth might not take place until Monday, in which case he would try to make it to the game on time.
Vigneault did not have an update on Nash beyond that when he spoke to the media at 5. Nash has three goals and four points through two games.
"There is a chance he might be joining us in the next little while," Vigneault said.
Vigneault said rookie forward Kevin Hayes will make his NHL debut and it's possible forward Ryan Malone makes his Rangers debut. Vigneault said forward Mats Zuccarello is also going to be a game-time decision, likely because of multiple hits he took Saturday night in a 5-2 loss at the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Zuccarello had a shoulder wrapped after the game.
"I would say he's one of those [who is iffy]," Vigneault said of Zuccarello.
Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson might make his season debut, but coach Randy Carlyle was non-committal when he spoke to the media prior to the game. Franson missed the first two games with a knee injury that he sustained during the preseason.
Carlyle did not offer any concrete updates on the Maple Leafs lineup.
Here are the projected lineups:
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel
Joffrey Lupul - Nazem Kadri - Brandon Kozun
Leo Komarov - Mike Santorelli - David Clarkson
Daniel Winnik - Peter Holland - Richard Panik
Dion Phaneuf - Stephane Robidas
Cody Franson - Roman Polak
Jake Gardiner - Morgan Rielly
Scratched: Matt Frattin, Stuart Percy
Injured: David Booth (broken right foot)
Chris Kreider - Martin St. Louis - Rick Nash
Carl Hagelin - Derick Brassard - Kevin Hayes
Anthony Duclair - J.T. Miller - Lee Stempniak
Tanner Glass - Dominic Moore - Jesper Fast
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Kevin Klein
John Moore - Matt Hunwick
Scratched: Ryan Malone, Michael Kostka,
Injured: Dan Boyle (broken hand), Derek Stepan (broken leg), Mats Zuccarello (shoulder)
Status report: After opening the season with consecutive road games, the Rangers are starting a four-game homestand Sunday night. They don't play their next road game until Oct. 21 at the New Jersey Devils. … New York was 2-0-1 against Toronto last season. Two of the three games were decided after regulation. … The Rangers have a point in 19 of their past 23 games against the Maple Leafs, including 10 of their past 12 home games. … New York is finishing its first of 13 sets of back to backs this season. .. The Maple Leafs are closing out the first of 18 sets of back to backs this season. … The Rangers will debut their Eastern Conference champions banner.
Who's hot: Duclair had two assists in the at Columbus on Saturday. They were his first NHL points. … Percy has two assists in his first two NHL games. He is fourth on the Maple Leafs in time on ice per game (20:21).