Georgiev turns back Maple Leafs in birthday masterpiece for Rangers

Annette Crawford
February 11, 2019

Kasperi Kapanen scored for the Maple Leafs, who had their four-game winning streak snapped. Toronto moves to 34-18-3 on the season.

He had Alexandar Georgiev to thank for that.

The Bell Centre crowd was on the edge of its seat throughout, even more so than usual when the Maple Leafs are in town on a Saturday night with hundreds, even thousands, of their rowdy fans in the building. "They didn't have many second chances". Well, they were loose defensively in the first period.

"Big-time goal by Vesey, " Quinn said. Toronto went 0 for 4 on the power play despite managing 23 shots. Ryan Strome entered the zone and sent a pass to Kreider.

Kevin Hayes added an empty-netter to secure the win and send Toronto off on the strength of Georgiev's excellent goaltending and an overall stronger defensive effort from the Rangers than the Leafs put together. Montreal opened the scoring less than a minute into the game before Andreas Johnsson and Nikita Zaitsev scored a pair of goals 2:22 apart less than a minute and a half after Montreal's marker, carrying a 2-1 lead into the 2nd period.

With the win, Toronto remains second in the Atlantic with 71 points.

Alex Georgiev made 55 saves Sunday, including 12 on Nazem Kadri, in the Rangers' 4-1 win over Toronto. He finished with 27 stops for an.897 save percentage. Toronto is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings between these two teams and 5-2 in the last 7 meetings between these two teams in NY.

The Toronto Maple Leafs look to wrap up a successful weekend on the road Sunday night before continuing their trek west as they face the New York Rangers. But with a point left on the table Saturday, a tight-lipped Domi wasn't entertaining the idea when it was pitched to him, the very short term all that mattered to himself and his teammates.

Lundqvist did not play in the first meeting between the teams and allowed 12 goals on 67 shots in two starts and three appearances against Toronto last season for a 7.06 goals-against average.

About those shots: The Leafs had 86 total shot attempts.

The changes could have something to do with how Mike Babcock was seen in heated conversation with assistant coach Jim Hiller, who runs the power play, on the bench during Saturday's game in Montreal after those units went 0-for-3.

Power outage: The Leafs' power play was great Sunday, putting 23 shots on goal in four instances with the man advantage.

One old trick that did resurface, though, in Sunday's game was the drop pass zone entry, a favourite move of Jake Gardiner's on Toronto's second group.

The faults with those stars: So why didn't the Leafs get a better result? "I have to make a save in that third period (on William Nylander) to close it out beforehand".

The Leafs have now logged 33 games in which they have not scored a power-play goal.

The Kadri-William Nylander-Connor brown line had an wonderful shift in the first period as the Leafs tried to rebound from a goal by the Rangers' Mika Zibanejad 28 seconds into the game.

"I thought the power play was really good even though (it) didn't score", Babcock said. "They did a real good job, every shift they played".

With his breathtaking speed, Kapanen is known to frequently elude opponents, and the Rangers saw quickly what damage an unmarked Kapanen can do.

NY is 1-4 in their last 5 home games and 17-36 in their last 53 games against the Eastern Conference while the over is 5-2 in their last 7 games against the Atlantic division. "When you get satisfied with losses, it's not a good sign for your hockey club". They were out on McQuaid's dagger of a goal in the third, unable to clear the puck once again, but prior to that error the line had been having a better showing.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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