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game preview

Maple Leafs at Rangers preview

Toronto seeks fifth straight win; Zuccarello looks to stay hot for New York

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

MAPLE LEAFS (34-17-3) at RANGERS (23-23-8)

7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVAS, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to match their longest winning streak of the season and surpass their longest point streak of the season when they play the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Toronto has won four in a row and has points in six straight games (5-0-1) since Jan. 23. 

The Maple Leafs, who defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in overtime at Bell Centre on Saturday, have had three five-game winning streaks this season (Oct. 7-15, Nov. 24-Dec. 4, Dec. 18-28). Their season-long six-game point streak went from Nov. 24-Dec. 6.

The Rangers are playing the final game of a season-long five-game homestand. They are 1-2-1.

 

Players to watch

Maple Leafs forward William Nylander has scored goals in two of his past three games, including a game-tying goal in the third period against Montreal, after scoring one in his first 23 games.

Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello has 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 10 games since Jan. 12.

 

They said it

"I think [Saturday] will be a real confidence builder for [Nylander]. It's nice to score in big moments and important moments and you feel good about yourself. It's good for Willy." -- Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on Nylander

"Where we're at in the season, urgency should be at an all-time high. … I think we've played well during the homestand. It's frustrating to not be rewarded for that, but you've just got to keep moving forward and be dialed in about the Toronto Maple Leafs." -- Rangers coach David Quinn

 

Maple Leafs projected lineup

Patrick Marleau -- Auston Matthews -- Kasperi Kapanen

Zach Hyman -- John Tavares -- Mitchell Marner

Connor Brown -- Nazem Kadri -- William Nylander

Par Lindholm -- Frederik Gauthier -- Andreas Johnsson

Jake Muzzin -- Morgan Rielly

Jake Gardiner -- Nikita Zaitsev

Travis Dermott -- Ron Hainsey

Garret Sparks

Frederik Andersen

Scratched: Igor Ozhiganov, Justin Holl, Tyler Ennis

Injured: None

 

Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Mats Zuccarello

Jimmy Vesey -- Kevin Hayes -- Pavel Buchnevich

Filip Chytil -- Ryan Strome -- Vladislav Namestnikov

Boo Nieves -- Jesper Fast

Marc Staal -- Tony DeAngelo

Brady Skjei -- Adam McQuaid

Brendan Smith -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Neal Pionk

Alexandar Georgiev

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratched: Vinni Lettieri

Injured: Brett Howden (MCL sprain), Fredrik Claesson (shoulder)

 

Status report

The Maple Leafs activated Ennis from injured reserve Sunday, but he will not play. He missed 18 games because of a broken ankle. ... The Rangers will use seven defensemen and 11 forwards for the second time in four games. They used that lineup in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Monday. Pionk will play after being scratched the past two games. Lettieri will be a healthy scratch after playing two in a row since being recalled from Hartford of the American Hockey League. … Georgiev will start for the second time in three games. He made 27 saves in a 4-3 shootout win against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.

 

Stat pack

Zuccarello has 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in his past 12 games against Toronto. … Tavares has a goal and an assist in three straight games. 

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