Leafs move to a playoff spot with a touch and go win over the Rangers

James Kurtzman
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Friday, December 20, 2019

Toronto Maple Leafs 6 - New York Rangers 3

The game was a lot closer than the score might inticipate.

The Toronto maple leafs started off the first period strong. With some pretty passing, 3rd liner Pierre Engvall (2) opened the scoring for the Leafs assisted by Justin Holl (10) and Ilya Mikheyev (14). And just in case you were wondering…yes Engvall stuck the landing on his celebration this time. Only a couple minutes later it’s Will Ny The Scoring Guy, William Nylander (12) who put the Leafs up 2-0 assisted by Kasperi Kapanen (12).

With 5 minutes left into the first, Toronto got to confident and made some fatal errors. Brady Skjei (5) ended up scoring to cut the lead in half assisted by Mika Zibanejad (13) and Chris Kreider (11). Of course because it always has to be a close game against the Leafs, Ryan Strome (7) continues the play off another Leafs error and ties the game at 2 with help from Atremi Panarin (24) and Pavel Buchnevich (15). With the first 12 games with Keefe, the Leafs have allowed 3 first period goals so it’s surprising to see 2 in the first period and while they hit 2 goalposts.

The second period starts off with yet another error but this time in the favour of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The New York Rangers take a couple of quick penalties and the Leafs have a two man advantage. Mitch Marner shows off his silky hands right before passing it to Captain John Tavares but Brady Skjei gets in the way and redirects the puck right passed the Rangers goaltender Alexander Georgiev and just like that the Leafs are up 3-2. Mitch Marner (7) was counted for the goal and was assisted by Auston Matthews (16) and William Nylander (14). The Leafs adding to the offensive pressure with 15 seconds left of the power play, Morgan Reilly makes some quick passes it has been 23 games since Reilly has scored a goal and 25 on the road. The Leafs get some shots off and Reilly again keeping up with the offensive pressure by keeping the puck in the Rangers zone. New York finally gets the puck out of their zone and in front of Frederik Andersen, Pavel Buchnevich takes a shot that goes over the glass. The Rangers win the faceoff and add tons of traffic in front of Andersen, the Rangers play a little tic tac toe and Buchnevich (6) has the puck again but this time it goes in. New York ties up the game at 3 all, Marc Staal (3) and Tony DeAngelo (17). Tyson Barrie flips the puck over the glass and the Leafs take a 2 minute penalty for delay of game with just over 14 minutes left in the second but the Rangers couldn’t capitalize on it.

As the minutes countdown both teams had a few scoring chances but the game stayed tied at 3. The Leafs have outscored their opponents 41-24 in the 2nd period this season.

Toronto continues dominating the game with shots as they started the third period out shooting the Rangers 24 to 13. Auston Matthews with the zone entry and passes it to none other than William Nylander (13) and he rips it to retake the lead 4-2, Auston Matthews (17) and Travis Dermott (3) added to their point totals. That was Nylander's 2nd goal and 3rd point on the night. Only 43 seconds later the Leafs have another scoring chance but the Rangers take it back. Marner (8) doesn’t want any of that as he strips the puck away from Artemi Panarin and he rips it from the point on a 4 on 1 and the Leafs are up 5-3. Now jumping to 3:37 left into the final frame and the Leafs add some salt to the wound as Ilya Mikheyev (7) rifles the puck with a little help from Alex Kerfoot (6) to make it 6-3 and Georgiev whacks his stick across the crossbar in anger. That would be the last goal of the game as Toronto takes it over the New York Rangers 6-3.


Even-strength average ice time among NHL forwards.