Rangers/Leafs In ReviewJanuary 15, 2012, by
As you know, the four of us were unable to watch the game last night, so the recap today comes from Tom Urtz Jr, who writes for Bleacher Report. Thanks again Tom. You can follow Tom on Twitter here.
The Rangers are back in the win column after outplaying the Leafs Saturday night in Toronto.The Rangers set the tone early on with a very physical first period that would continue the rest of the game.
With the Rangers forechecking and throwing their weight around, the Leafs were limited to only five shots in a scoreless first period. Towards the end of the period, Cody Franson was called for a penalty which sent the Rangers to the power play.
The Rangers inability to score on the man advantage continued against the Leafs as they failed to capitalize and get shots on net. The Rangers went 0-2 on the man advantage against the Leafs.
The Rangers once again outshot the Leafs and physically dominated the Leafs in the second period and finally got on the scoreboard when Mike Rupp scored his fourth goal of the season on an odd man rush led by Derek Stepan. Tonight was a night where the third and fourth liner continued to shine.
In the third the Rangers continued to limit the Leafs scoring chances but received some continued help from both goal posts and the crossbar. Derek Stepan scored the Rangers third goal after Marty Biron hit Carl Hagelin with a crisp cross ice pass before setting up Stepan.
The goal was Stepan’s tenth of the year and his second point of the night. Marty Biron once again was a difference maker. Biron stood on his head when the Leafs were swarming on the powerplay and didn’t give up many second chance opportunites.
Biron improved his record to 9-2-0 and has eclipsed his win total of 8 from the 2010-11 season.
Defensively, the Rangers were solid. Ryan McDonagh quietly had a good game and Marc Staal is continuing to show he is ready for more responsibility. The fact that Staal saw some power play time was a good sign. Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul were a non factor in this game and Toronto never got anything going.
Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik really weren’t a factor in this game and that is going to have to change for tomorrow night. The Rangers need these two players to perform in order to be successful against tough opponents. They can’t survive on third line productions alone.
Artem Anisimov may still be in Tortorella’s doghouse as he only played 10:07 as the fourth line center against the Leafs.
Hopefully the Rangers can continue this effort tomorrow night against the Montreal Canadiens. The Rangers have had some trouble with the Canadiens at the Bell Centre so hopefully Lundqvist can come out strong.