New York Rangers Get Big Win in Shootout vs Toronto
With a shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Rangers move into a tie with the Islanders for 7th place in the Eastern Conference. With only 8 games left in the NHL's lockout shortened season, the Rangers put some separation between themselves and the hard charging Winnipeg Jets.
Both teams started slowly, leaving the first period scoreless. Maple Leafs RW Phil Kessel scored early in the 2nd period, giving his team an early edge. The Rangers struck back, taking the lead after goals by Carl Hagelin and Ryan McDonagh.
Kessel added another goal in the 3rd period, giving him 14 on the year. He's been a huge reason why the Leafs are currently 5th in the East.
After a scoreless OT period, the teams went to a shootout. Going into the shootout, the Rangers had a major advantage. The Maple Leafs were 0-4 in shootouts so far this season, and the Rangers were 3-4. Mats Zuccarello scored the only shootout goal, giving the Rangers two critical points and the season series win 2-1 against Toronto.
The Rangers now sit tied with the surprising NY Islanders in the East. The Islanders, led by NHL star John Tavares, will take on Boston before a NY showdown against the Rangers. The Islanders, who actually have a losing record at home, will look to defeat the Rangers at home in a statement game Saturday night.
If both teams can continue their hot play, we could very likely see two New York teams in the playoffs for the first time since the 2006-2007 season. New York hockey fans, get excited!