Rangers-Maple Leafs Preview
GAME: New York Rangers (11-11-5-2) at Toronto Maple Leafs (16-6-5-3).
TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.
The Toronto Maple Leafs look to resume their best stretch of the season as
they host the New York Rangers at Air Canada Centre.
Toronto has picked up 19 of a possible 20 points in its last 10 games
(9-0-0-1) -- with a 3-2 overtime loss to St. Louis on Tuesday serving as the
only blemish during the run.
El Belfour stopped all 28 shots he faced to earn his third shutout of the
season and 68th of his career in Thursday's 1-0 win at Minnesota. Belfour is
second in shutouts among active goaltenders behind New Jersey's Martin Brodeur,
who has 70.
"It looked like you couldn't shoot a marble by him. That's the way Eddie
plays. There's not many nights when he's not on. That's why he's had the career
he's had," said Tom Fitzgerald, who scored Toronto's lone goal. "To us he's
the best goaltender in the league. He gives us a chance every night to get two
The Maple Leafs have beaten the Rangers in two previous meetings this
season, taking both ends of a home-and-home series from Nov. 30-Dec. 2.
Eric Lindros' promotion to the Rangers' top line paid instant dividends
Friday as New York posted a 3-1 win at Buffalo.
Trying to snap Lindros and the rest of the Rangers out of a funk, coach Glen
Sather decided to elevate the center to a line featuring Alexei Kovalev and
Martin Rucinsky. The trio delivered, producing a goal, two assists and 10
shots, including five by Kovalev and three by Lindros.
"They had a lot of great chances," Sather said. "They were too strong and
that team couldn't handle those guys."
Lindros assisted on Kovalev's fifth goal of the season, and is now just two
shy of 800 career NHL points. He was thankful he could finally get into a
groove knowing that he would be taking a regular shift.
"You get involved because you know it's coming and you're ready to go," he
said. "But every line generated their chances."
Anson Carter also tallied for the Rangers, his eighth goal of the season and
fourth in five games.