Maple Leafs/Rangers Preview
The Toronto Maple Leafs play their second-last game of the season tonight versus the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden (7:00 pm et, TSN). The Rangers are fighting for their playoff lives, sitting 3 points back of the Bruins and 4 points back of the Flyers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. As for the Leafs, their hopes of moving out of the basement of the East are all but gone.
Jonas Gustavsson makes his final start of the season. The Leafs’ Bill Masterton nominee has lost his last 2 starts since a 7-game win streak. Let’s hope the rookie’s up-and-down season ends with a victory.
The Maple Leafs power-play was abysmal in last night’s 2-0 loss to the Flyers, going 0-for-6. The Leafs haven’t scored on the power-play in their last 30 chances, and are 2-for-48 over their last 12 games. It has gotten so bad that Colton Orr saw time on the power-play last night. I hope that was just a one-off from Ron Wilson in an attempt to send a message to the rest of his players.
The Rangers are also coming off a loss, as they fell 5-2 to the Sabres last night. Henrik Lundqvist was pulled after allowing 3 goals on 16 shots. Look for Lundqvist to be right back in there tonight. Sean Avery is questionable with a knee injury.
New York is 2-0-1 against the Leafs this season, winning both home meetings. However, the Leafs won the last meeting on March 27 on Nikolai Kulemin‘s overtime winner. The pending restricted free agent hasn’t scored in 5 games since.
The Maple Leafs close out their season Saturday night in Montreal.
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