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game recap

Rangers defeat Maple Leafs in shootout

Henrik Lundqvist makes 32 saves for New York to outlast Frederik Andersen

by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Henrik Lundqvist made 32 saves for the New York Rangers in a 2-1 shootout win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Thursday.

He stopped Auston Matthews and Leo Komarov on breakaways in overtime.

"It was a fun game, pretty challenging game," Lundqvist said. "They're a pretty tricky team with a lot of skill up front; we knew that going into this game. But in the end, going into overtime, I do have a short memory, but I definitely remember losing in a shootout (on Tuesday) against [the Montreal Canadiens 3-2] at home. I didn't want to come up short here twice in two days, so it felt really important to come up with a win."

 

WATCH: All Rangers vs. Maple Leafs highlights

 

J.T. Miller scored for New York with 9:10 left in the third period to tie the game 1-1 on New York's 32nd shot. Mats Zuccarello and Mika Zibanejad scored in the shootout, and Lundqvist stopped one of two shots. He is 10-2-1 in his past 14 starts.

"I tried to keep my focus real simple right now and it's been paying off the last few weeks," Lundqvist said. "I've worked hard in practice, but the way I've competed, I've tried to really [simplify] everything, and in the end, that's what it comes down to: Just stop it. It's helped me being patient, and that's what I did well on the breakaways and in the shootout."

Video: NYR@TOR: Lundqvist denies Kadri to seal shootout win

The Rangers (39-19-2) are 3-2 in the shootout this season. The Maple Leafs (28-20-12) are 1-7.

"I mean, we hit the bar in overtime, it's not like we're not trying to win, and we're trying to win the shootout too," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "Today would have been a good one to win for [Frederik Andersen]. Freddie had done everything for us, it would have been nice if we'd scored some goals for him."

Andersen made 37 saves for Toronto.

"I think pretty much everyone in hockey wanted to see us keep going," he said. "It was a good overtime but we haven't had much success there (in shootouts)."

The Rangers outshot the Maple Leafs 14-9 in the first period, but Toronto took a 1-0 lead at 10:56 on a goal by Connor Brown. He scored his 15th of the season when he put a rebound past Lundqvist at the top of the crease.

Video: NYR@TOR: Brown buries fortuitous deflection in front

 

Goal of the game

Miller put in a rebound two seconds after Maple Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev got out of the penalty box.

Video: NYR@TOR: Miller slams home a rebound to tie the game

 

Save of the game

On a shorthanded 2-on-1, Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh tried a return pass to forward Michael Grabner, but Andersen stretched his left pad to keep the score 1-0.

"I saw he was passing it back, and I don't think [Grabner] put it where he wanted to," Andersen said. "I didn't get very far over, but he put it right on my pad."

Video: NYR@TOR: Andersen robs Grabner with his left pad

 

Highlight of the game

Matthews had a breakaway with 10 seconds left in overtime but Lundqvist dropped into butterfly position to make the save.

Video: NYR@TOR: Lundqvist turns aside Matthews' OT breakaway

 

Unsung performance of the game

Zibanejad won 13 of 16 faceoffs (81 percent).

 

They said it

"I thought Marchenko made a real good play on our goal. He turned the puck over one time on a defensive-zone faceoff coming around. Obviously, he's got skill, he's smart, and he's a big man out there, so that was a positive." -- Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on Alexey Marchenko's debut with Toronto

 

"It's a fun goalie battle; we have big for respect for each other. It's fun to play in those kinds of games, but obviously you'd rather be on the winning side." -- Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen on Henrik Lundqvist

 

"The key is not to try to do too much as a goalie. I knew with the way the game was played, we had enough chances to score and win the game. For me, it was about keeping the score at 1-0 just to give us a chance, and you just hope that sooner or later it's going to pay off all the chances we created. I felt like we had more big chances, so just not trying to do too much was the key. I felt really good when it finally paid off in the third." -- Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist

 

Need to know

New York's power play went 0 for 2 and has three goals in its past 41 opportunities. … Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein was scratched; he tweaked his back at the morning skate, coach Alain Vigneault said. ... Jake Gardiner's assist on Brown's goal gave him 31 points (nine goals, 22 assists), tying his NHL high set in 2013-14 and last season.

 

What's next

Rangers: At the New Jersey Devils on Saturday (5 p.m. ET; MSG, MSG+, NHL.TV)

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

 

Video: Lundqvist makes 32 saves in Rangers' comeback win

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