Toronto Maple Leaf Game Report - March 23
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Toronto Maple Leafs (1) Vs New York Rangers (2) OT
TORONTO — The New York Rangers took down the Toronto Maple Leafs with a narrow 2-1 overtime victory in an Original Six showdown at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday night.
Ryan Strome netted the game-winner at 1:48 of the extra frame as his Rangers (29-32-13) emerged victorious for a second straight time versus Toronto.
Alexandar Georgiev, who made 55-saves in a 4-1 win over the Leafs on Feb. 10, was stellar once again with a 35-save performance. The 23-year-old Bulgarian-Russian goaltender proved to be a difference maker as the opposition simply struggled to penetrate his fortress.
The Leafs (44-25-6) made a late comeback but could not deliver a happy ending for the home crowd. Toronto still has not played in a shootout this season.
Auston Matthews had three high danger scoring chances in the first period but found the side netting with each shot attempt. The home crowd cheered as if he scored each time, only to realize he had missed entirely.
Frederik Gauthier skated in his 100th career NHL game, all of which have been with the Maple Leafs.
Toronto opened the second period with a 0:42 power play but failed to convert on that opportunity and two others in the game.
Late in the second period, Frederik Andersen bailed his team out by breaking up a Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich 2-on-0. The save proved to be crucial as action resumed following the intermission, ultimately helping Toronto earn a point despite the loss.
The Rangers opened the second period with a quick strike just 0:19 after the puck drop. Pavel Buchnevich recorded his 18th goal of the season after cleaning up a rebound from Brady Skjei’s initial shot.
Toronto managed to find an equalizer at 8:33 as Zach Hyman netted his 19th goal of the season off of a feed from John Tavares. He was gifted a virtually empty net to shoot into.
Mitch Marner picked up a secondary assist on the play, his 62nd of the season, and moved into sole possession of fifth place on the franchise’s single-season assist list. In doing so, Marner passed Vincent Damphousse (1989-90).
The Leafs fell to 7-4-1 when tied after two periods, while the Rangers improved to 11-8-5.