How far will the Rangers get this season?

New York Seeks Eighth Straight Victory On Home Ice

Brad Richards has nine points in his last five games

Brad Richards has nine points in his last five games

When: Monday, December 5, 7:00 p.m.

Opponent: vs. Toronto (14-10-2)



UPDATE: Jonas Gustavsson will start for Toronto.  (1:12 p.m.)

UPDATE: The Rangers will dress the same lineup tonight and Henrik Lundqvist will be in goal.  Mike Rupp skated with the club wearing a non-contact jersey this morning.  (11:48 a.m.)


EARLIER: Entering the season the New York Rangers were expected to make a jump in the standings thanks in large part to the signing of Brad Richards.  But no one saw the Toronto Maple Leafs coming.

Sure enough, the Rangers are winners of five straight games and 12 of their last 14 and sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Toronto has dropped its two games in a row, both at the hands of the Boston Bruins, but was solidly in control of the Northeast Division until the Bruins went on an incredible 13-0-1 run and took over first place.

Sophomore goalie James Reimer returned to Toronto’s lineup on Saturday after missing six weeks with a concussion and if he returns to form the Leafs may continue to press Boston for the duration of the season.

Toronto’s high-powered offense led by points leader Phil Kessel has been its strength all year, but the Leafs have thrived despite ranking 27th in goals against per game. 

Reimer allowed four goals on 30 shots in his return, but the Leafs were so confident in the 23-year-old after just 37 games last season that they rewarded him with a three-year, $5.4 million contract this summer.

New York has faced Toronto once previously this season, when the Leafs spoiled the Rangers’ home-opener on October 27th.

Dan Girardi and Michael Del Zotto scored for the Blueshirts, but Toronto put up three goals in the third period to seal a 4-2 road victory.

Since that game the Rangers have lost just once on home ice - in the team’s very next tilt against Ottawa - and three times overall.   

New York has found its stride and is beginning to be accepted as a member of the NHL’s elite.

To that end, the Blueshirts are now expected to win, especially on home ice.  The Rangers have racked up seven straight victories at home and now have a 7-1-1 mark at the newly renovated Madison Square Garden.

Failure to maintain a distinct home-ice advantage has plagued this club in recent years, but the 2011-2012 season seems like the beginning of a new era on Broadway and dominating play at home has been part of the recipe. 

Indeed, since losing their first two games at MSG the Rangers have outscored their opponents 25-10 at home.

That’s been a big reason why the team has climbed up to ninth in the league in goals per game and still maintains a spot in the top three in goals against.

Toronto is out to prove that it is no flash in the pan and ironically enough, a road victory over the surging Blueshirts would open the eyes of many.

But that’s not the Rangers’ concern.  New York is simply in search of its sixth straight victory, business as usual.


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Posted by Kevin Baumer | December 5, 2011 at 12:40 pm

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New York Rangers VS Chicago Blackhawks
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 3 0 0 - 3
Blackhawks 1 1 0 - 2

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