The New York Rangers dropped their second consecutive game as they fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs by a final score of 6-3. Henrik Lundqvist was chased from the net with a few minutes remaining in the second period, and to put it simply, everything went wrong tonight. The Rangers had terrible defensive zone coverage all night long, and let the Maple Leafs run around their zone with free reign. While Lundqvist wasn't great, he definitely didn't receive much help from his defensive partners, as they left him out to dry on numerous occasions.
The Maple Leafs got on the board first tonight, and took early control coming off a power play goal from Cody Franson. Tyler Bozak was able to draw two Rangers defenders into the corner, and quickly found Franson cutting up the middle of the ice. With tons of room to work it, Franson wound up, and bombed a shot over the blocker hand of Lundqvist for the 1-0 lead.
Following the goal, the Maple Leafs continued to give the Rangers fits in their own end, but Lundqvist was up to the task early on in this game. Finally, after numerous waves of attacks from the Leafs, the Rangers were able to get on the board with one of their own. Martin St. Louis and Rick Nash connected on a nifty 2-on-1, which resulted in Nash redirecting the puck over James Reimer at the far post. For those of you counting at home, that is now four goals in three games for Nash, who continued to be a dominant force tonight once again. Unfortunately, Nash left the game at some point during the second period to be with his wife, who was giving birth to the couples first child.
You could tell as the game dragged on that the Rangers sorely missed Nash's presence, and the second period was an utter disaster. The Leafs wound up rattling off three straight goals in the first ten minutes of the second period, and took a commanding 4-1 lead halfway through the period. Several minutes after James van Riemsdyk gave the Leafs a 4-1 lead, Lee Stempniak countered with his own at the other end. With a great individual effort, Stempniak drove to the net, and picked up his own rebound as Peter Holland went crashing into his own net.
The goal wound up being reviewed to see if the net came off the moorings prior to the puck going in, and it was later confirmed by the war room up in Toronto. Just as things were starting to look up for the Rangers, the Leafs stormed back with two more goals to widen their lead to 6-2. At that point, Lundqvist was yanked from the game by Alain Vigneault, and was replaced by Cam Talbot for the remaining 22 minutes.
Derick Brassard scored the only goal of the third period, as he ripped a slap shot past Jonathan Bernier with a little under six minutes remaining in regulation. James Reimer wound up leaving the game as well in the third period, with what appeared to be some sort of head injury on the prior play. Dominic Moore collided with Reimer following a shot on goal, and looked as if he caught him in the head with his shoulder.
The Rangers weren't able to muster up anything in the closing minutes of the game, and fell to the Leafs by a final score of 6-3. Tomorrow will be an off day for the Rangers, as they are set to take on the New York Islanders on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.