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game recap

Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers handle Maple Leafs

Allows two goals on 25 shots to end three-game losing streak

by Dave McCarthy / Correspondent

TORONTO -- Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves for the New York Rangers in a 5-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Thursday.

Michael Grabner scored a shorthanded goal with 5:03 left in the third period and an empty-net goal to help New York (29-16-1) end its three-game losing streak.

Lundqvist allowed 16 goals in those three games, including a 4-2 loss to the Maple Leafs on Friday.


WATCH: All Rangers vs. Maple Leafs highlights


"I didn't see that many shots, but it was pretty good scoring chances every time they had a shot," Lundqvist said of this game. "When I'm in the situation I'm in, every save matters, every good decision, every good thing you do out there, you try to think, 'OK, that's a good action,' and you just build off that."

Toronto (21-14-8) had a three-game winning streak end. It was playing without defenseman Morgan Rielly, who sustained a right-knee injury in a 4-3 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

"I don't think Rielly made us not compete hard enough tonight or not take care of the puck or not stop on defense," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "I don't think he had anything to do with that. Obviously the back end was in trouble lots tonight. We weren't very good."

New York led 2-1 and outshot Toronto 19-9 in the first period.

Brady Skjei made it 1-0 at 6:42, but Tyler Bozak tied it 1-1 when he put in a pass from Mitchell Marner at the top of the crease at 10:16.

The Rangers took a 2-1 lead at 14:44 when Pavel Buchnevich collected a rebound from a point shot from Skjei and put it in with goalie Frederik Andersen out of position.

Lundqvist, who was pulled after allowing seven goals on 27 shots in two periods of a 7-6 loss to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, was tested in the first period. He stopped a point shot from Nikita Zaitsev that was deflected in the slot 40 seconds into the game, and at 5:20 kicked out his right pad to stop Frederik Gauthier on a shorthanded 2-on-1. Auston Matthews could not score when he cut in off the left wing at 7:55.

"There's no doubt that (those early saves) was huge right off the bat and it was good for [Henrik]," Vigneault said. "It was good for our whole team and I thought we went from there. I thought we carried the first period, they had a couple looks there, but I thought we carried the play and took that into the second also."

J.T. Miller increased the lead to 3-1 at 9:02 of the second period when his shot from the right-wing circle deflected off defenseman Matt Hunwick's visor and fooled Andersen.

Zach Hyman scored a shorthanded goal at 16:02 to make it 3-2.


Goal of the game

Hyman caught Rangers defenseman Adam Clendening standing still with the puck deep in New York's zone. Hyman stole the puck and waited out Lundqvist before putting a shot into the top of the net for his sixth goal.

Video: NYR@TOR: Hyman picks Clendening's pocket for SHG


Save of the game

Leo Komarov tried to slide the puck between Lundqvist's legs while shorthanded, but Lundqvist kept it out to preserve a 2-1 lead at 11:40 of the second period.


Highlight of the game

Nazem Kadri set up Komarov with a cross-ice pass at 1:30 of the third period for a point-blank shot, but Lundqvist made the save with his right arm to keep it 3-2.

Video: NYR@TOR: Lundqvist robs Komarov's point-blank chance


Unsung performance of the game

Gauthier went nine for 14 on faceoffs.

"I thought Gauthier's line was our best group," Babcock said of him, Matt Martin and Nikita Soshnikov.

They said it

"There was a ton (of urgency). Everyone in our division is winning, and a three-game slide is not great to have in the second half of the year here going downhill to the playoffs. Hopefully that was a good statement game for us." -- Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh


"It definitely wasn't the way we've been playing. I think we can be better in all areas. When you go down like that, it's tough to come back." -- Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner


Need to know

Grabner has 21 goals this season; he had nine in 80 games with Toronto last season. It is his third 20-goal season in the NHL (34 in 2010-11, 20 in 2011-12 with the New York Islanders). … Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk had an assist to extend his point streak to nine games, the longest active streak in the NHL (three goals, 10 assists). ... Rangers defenseman Marc Staal skated by himself Thursday but there is no target date for his return from a concussion. He has not played since a 4-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Jan. 3. "A player like Marc, with what he brings to our team, I'll put him in the lineup as soon as he's healthy," Vigneault said.


What's next

Rangers: At the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, NHL.TV)

Maple Leafs: Host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, CITY, TVA Sports 2, NHL.TV)


Video: Grabner's two goals power Rangers past Leafs, 5-2

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