With the HBO 24/7 sideshow and the 2014 Winter Classic spectacle now behind them, the Toronto Maple Leafs look to continue a three-game winning streak versus the New York Rangers.

Jonathan Bernier will start his fifth game in a row for the first time in his career, and for the first time for either Leaf goaltender this season. He turned aside 39 of 40 shots against the Rangers in a shootout loss prior to the Christmas break. This has been a convincing stretch from Bernier, one that will be tough to recover from as far as Reimer is concerned.

Randy Carlyle for his part is still at least paying lip service to open competition between the goaltenders:

New acquisition Tim Gleason will not play tonight, which makes sense on a couple of levels. Carlyle is right to stick by the group that has pieced together three straight wins, with Paul Ranger playing some of his better games of the season. Gleason also needs some practice time to gain familiarity with the Carlyle swarm defensive system in particular, which can put the defenceman in some uncomfortable situations in the transition once possession is recovered.

In the last meeting between the two teams, a wide open first period yielded nothing due to good goaltending from Cam Talbot and Jonathan Bernier before the Rangers played the entire second period in the Leaf end, with Bernier holding the game goalless until the third period. The Rangers took the lead off the stick of JT Miller after a defensive zone breakdown by the Leafs before Nazem Kadri poked the puck over the line from underneath Talbot’s pad with a few minutes remaining.

The Leafs have won three in a row since the loss to the Rangers, two in shootout (which now represents a third of their total wins with 7 SO victories), while the Rangers have gone 2-2-0 versus the Capitals (L), Lightning (W), Florida (W) and Pittsburgh (L).

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Alec Brownscombe is the founder and editor of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He's published five magazines on the team entitled "The Maple Leafs Annual" with distribution in Chapters and newsstands across the country. He also co-hosts "The Battle of the Atlantic," a weekly show on TSN1200 that covers the Leafs and the NHL in-depth. Alec is a graduate of Trent University and Algonquin College with his diploma in Journalism. In 2014, he was awarded Canada's Best Hockey Blogger honours by Molson Canadian. You can contact him at alec.brownscombe@mapleleafshotstove.com.