The New York Rangers fell short of an impressive comeback bid this evening as they were defeated 2-1 by the Toronto Maple Leafs. New York came alive in the third period and pulled within a goal of tying the game with a goal coming from Dryden Hunt. However, the Rangers simply ran out of time after swarming the Maple Leafs for a majority of the third period.
Morgan Rielly (2) - Wayne Simmonds (3) & Michael Bunting (4) - 3:41
Just under four minutes after the opening faceoff, Toronto was able to jump out to an early lead courtesy of Morgan Rielly. The Maple Leafs had some early pressure and Wayne Simmonds started the play with a strong move to get the puck back up high. Morgan Rielly elected for a shot on goal with traffic moving towards the net, and was rewarded for his efforts. The shot somehow eluded Igor Shesterkin with Michael Bunting providing the screen in front, and Toronto gained the early advantage.
Morgan Rielly (3) - Auston Matthews (8) & John Tavares (8) PPG - 10:59
Toronto’s power play is downright dangerous with the amount of talent they have on their first unit, and the Rangers found that out firsthand tonight. After keeping the puck alive in the offensive zone, Auston Matthews found Morgan Rielly wide open with plenty of space in front of him. Rielly used that to his advantage, walked into the high slot, and beat Shesterkin through the legs after a slick toedrag around Jacob Trouba.
Dryden Hunt (1) - Ryan Strome (8) & Kaapo Kakko (2) - 3:30
With the Rangers needing some type of response, they entered the third period with some jump in their game right from the puck drop. As a result, just over three minutes into the final frame, Dryden Hunt picked up his first goal in a Rangers uniform. The Rangers caught a fortunate bounce off of Ryan Strome’s skate off to the right of the net, and the puck deflected right into open space. Hunt was in perfect position to one-time the puck, and beat Jack Campbell before he slid back into his crease.
The Rangers played like a team that was destined to tie up the game, but they simply just ran out of time in the end. New York’s big guns were front and center tonight, but they just couldn’t find one more bounce to take this game to overtime. With the Rangers four-game winning streak officially over, they will turn their attention to Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres.