The Toronto Maple Leafs continued their winning ways, taking down the New York Rangers by a 3-1 score Thursday. Defenceman Morgan Rielly scored both Toronto goals.
Jack Campbell continued his outstanding play in the Maple Leafs net, stopping 27 of 28 shots. That raised his league-leading save percentage to .944.
Not only have the Maple Leafs won 10 of their past 11 games, but they have started to deliver more sound defensive performances in the process.
Starting with their shutout in Philadelphia, the Maple Leafs have allowed fewer than 2.50 expected goals against in each of the past five games. The Rangers had 2.31 expected goals in this game.
Morgan Rielly got the Maple Leafs on the board with a seeing-eye wrist shot. The puck got past a Michael Bunting screen and beat Rangers netminder Igor Shesterkin at 3:41 of the first period.
Rielly tallied his second of the night at 10:59 of the second second period. John Tavares fell against the right-wing boards but continued to battle for the puck while sitting on the ice. Auston Matthews then sent a cross-ice pass to Rielly, who carried the puck into the left-wing circle and dragged it into a better shooting position before beating Shesterkin five-hole with a wrist shot. That was ultimately the game-winning goal and was Rielly’s third goal of the season. He is one of the Maple Leafs’ best defencemen in modern history.
The Rangers cut the lead in half at 3:30 of the third period when Dryden Hunt pounced on a rebound in the slot and blasted it past Jack Campbell. It was Hunt’s first goal of the season.
Julien Gauthier led the Rangers with nine shot attempts and was tied with Jacob Trouba for the team lead with five shots on goal.
Igor Shesterkin, who stole a win for the Rangers when they were in Toronto earlier in the season, stopped 28 of 30 shots. It was a solid performance but not the game-changing nature of his previous start in Toronto.
The 12-5-1 Maple Leafs remain in second place in the Atlantic Division. They will host the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday night.
Takeaways and quotes coming soon.
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