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game recap

Maple Leafs continue success on road

Toronto extends point streak to nine games with win against Rangers

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The Toronto Maple Leafs extended their road point streak to nine games with a 4-2 win against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Friday.

Toronto (19-13-8) is 7-0-2 on the road since a 3-2 shootout loss at the Vancouver Canucks on Dec. 3.

"I think we've just been building on what we've been able to do," Maple Leafs rookie forward William Nylander said.

 

WATCH: All Maple Leafs vs. Rangers highlights

 

James van Riemsdyk scored his 15th goal of the season to extend his point streak to six games (two goals, eight assists). Nylander, Connor Brown and Connor Carrick scored for the Maple Leafs, who went 2-for-4 on the power play and 6-for-6 on the penalty kill. Frederik Andersen made 34 saves.

"We had all four lines going," Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. "Our power play was good. Our penalty kill was real good. And it was good to see Freddie back. Just so important to have good goaltending, and we got that."

Chris Kreider and J.T. Miller scored, and Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves for the Rangers (28-14-1), who twice hit the post on shot attempts during power plays, one by Derek Stepan at 9:30 of the second period and another by Brandon Pirri at 16:06 of the third.

"I didn't hate the way we played," Stepan said. "Our special teams has to be a key part for us and we hit two pipes on two power plays. But, again, we lost [the special teams game] and that's the difference for me."

Video: TOR@NYR: JVR beats Lundqvist for a power-play goal

Brown's goal at 14:27 of the second period, which deflected into the net off of Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, turned into the game-winner when Miller scored at 18:35 of the third period. It was Brown's 10th goal of the season and sixth in the past nine games.

It was a backbreaker for the Rangers, who made it 2-1 on Kreider's 17th goal 5:22 earlier. Stepan then shot off the right post, and eight seconds later Lundqvist stopped Zach Hyman on a shorthanded breakaway.

"We scored our first goal, had momentum a little bit, and we get a bad bounce there," Lundqvist said. "That was a tough one. I felt like the energy kind of went down a little bit after that and it was hard for us to create the big chances."

Toronto took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Nylander at 4:49 and van Riemsdyk on the power play at 17:28. It was the third time in the past four games the Rangers trailed by at least two goals in the first period.

"I don't have the answer," Lundqvist said. "If we did have it, it would be easy to correct."

Carrick made it 4-1 with a power-play goal at 13:20 of the third period. Babcock said that was the big goal for Toronto because it came 12 seconds into a power play and essentially put the game away even though Miller eventually scored to make it 4-2.

"It kind of took the wind out of their sails," Babcock said of Carrick's goal.

Video: TOR@NYR: Kreider slides backhand in from a knee

 

Goal of the game

Jake Gardiner started the play that led to Brown's goal with a breakout pass to Auston Matthews from behind Toronto's goal line. Matthews gave the puck to Brown, who carried it into the zone and took a shot from above the left circle that was deflected and got past Lundqvist.

Video: TOR@NYR: Brown scores on redirection off defender

 

Save of the game

Andersen made a point-blank blocker save on Kevin Hayes, who was alone in the slot, at 5:43 of the third period to keep Toronto in front 3-1.

Video: TOR@NYR: Andersen turns aside a one-timer by Hayes

 

Highlight of the game

Prior to the game, Nylander said he used to play street hockey with Lundqvist when he was a boy, and his father, Michael, played for the Rangers. He must have remembered a thing or two because he fooled Lundqvist with a low shot through the five-hole to give Toronto a 1-0 lead at 4:49 of the first period. Lundqvist said he thought Nylander was going to shoot high.

Video: TOR@NYR: Nylander opens scoring with nice wrist shot

 
Unsung performance of the game

Hyman played 7:36 on the penalty kill and led Toronto forwards with 19:56 of ice time.

 

They said it

"To win in this league, where all teams in my estimation are good, you saw that with the skill level that Toronto had tonight, all parts of your game have to be there. When there's one [that isn't] it's usually very hard, and tonight our special teams and the fact that we didn't make them pay 5-on-5 -- except the one at the end there -- made it very challenging for us." -- Rangers coach Alain Vigneault

 

Need to know

Toronto is 8-for-17 on the power play in its past four games. … Toronto's nine-game road point streak is its longest since Feb. 25-March 22, 2008 (8-0-1), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... Rangers forwards Rick Nash and Pavel Buchnevich returned to the lineup. Nash missed eight games with a groin injury. Buchnevich missed 27 with a back injury.

 

What's next

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

Rangers: At the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, SN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Leafs ride special teams to 4-2 victory over Rangers

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