After the downward spiral that was the three-game losing streak, the New York Rangers rebounded this evening with a 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Henrik Lundqvist, who has been under intense and unnecessary criticism, silenced his critics with quite the performance tonight in net. Michael Grabner also had himself quite the game by picking up a pair of goals, which brought his goal total to 21 on the season.
You can also add Brady Skjei and Adam Clendening to that list as well, who anchored the third pairing and each picked up a point tonight. Speaking of Skjei, he wound up opening the scoring tonight with his second career goal after corralling a beautiful centering feed from Mats Zuccarello.
A short time later, Tyler Bozak evened up the game after a defensive miscue by Kevin Klein in front, which left Bozak all alone in front. Unfortunately, Henrik Lundqvist didn’t stand much of a chance and the Leafs were able to crawl back into the game. Thankfully, following Bozak’s goal, the Rangers were able to score a pair of their own coming from Pavel Buchnevich and J.T. Miller.
That now brings Buchnevich’s point streak to four games, and gives him six goals and six assists in his last eight games. With the Rangers leading 3-1 late in the 2nd period, they were looking to close out the period strong as they went on the power play. Unfortunately, it wound up working exactly the opposite as Zach Hyman forced a turnover in the offensive zone, and slipped the puck past Henrik Lundqvist.
That set this game up for quite the third period and put the Rangers back on their toes a little bit. Then, a wild Michael Grabner appeared. After creating numerous scoring chances throughout the game and drawing two penalties, Grabner finally cashed in at the 14:57 mark of the third period. He then capped it off with an empty net goal at 17:03 and gave the Rangers a commanding 5-2 lead heading into the closing minutes.
Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers were able to hold down the fort for the remaining three minutes, and picked up a huge 5-2 victory on the road. With the Rangers’ losing streak now in the rear view mirror, they will look ahead to Sunday afternoon’s matchup with the Detroit Red Wings.