New York Rangers @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Date: Saturday January 4, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM EST
Arena: Air Canada Centre
New York Rangers: 20 - 20 - 2 , 5th in Metropolitan, 10th in Conference
Toronto Maple Leafs: 21 - 16 - 5, 4th in Atlantic, 5th in Conference
The New York Rangers return to the ice tonight in chilly Toronto for an evening matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Rangers will be looking to rebound after a disappointing and lackluster 5-2 loss last night to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Cam Talbot will be back in net for the Rangers after Henrik Lundqvist allowed five goals last night.
Despite the return of Captain Ryan Callahan and a generally healthy lineup, the Rangers could not muster any sustained pressure against the Penguins and suffered multiple neutral zone and defensive zone turnovers that Pittsburgh quickly converted.
The lineup likely remains the same for the Rangers with the exception of JT Miller's re-insertion into the roster following Derek Dorsett's injury. Dorsett is expected to miss extended time with a broken leg. After Taylor Pyatt was waived this past week and claimed by Pittsburgh, Miller remains the lone extra forward.
Both Michael Del Zotto and Justin Falk were healthy scratches last night and no word on whether either will see the ice tonight. Given Conor Allen's strong play it is unlikely either will replace him in the lineup.
As for their opponent, the Leafs have exceeded expectations and sit comfortably in the playoff pack for the conference.
Sniper Phil Kessel leads the team offensively with 20 goals and 18 assists for 38 points. Deadline acquisition and former Philadelphia Flyer James Van Riemsdyk has started to come on offensively as well, with 15 goals and 15 assists for 30 points.
Captain and recently-extended defender Dion Phaneuf has been stalwart on defense, leading the Leafs with a +15.
Goaltending also appears to be taking shape for the Leafs as Jonathan Bernier has become more consistent than James Reimer.
In their previous matchup, the Rangers outlasted the Leafs 2-1 in a shootout after a late controversial tying goal by Toronto. Backup netminder Talbot was in net for New York and Bernier for Toronto.