The previous two meetings have been split with the visiting team winning a game apiece. Both teams are presently in a playoff spot with Toronto resting in third place in the Atlantic and the Blueshirts currently in the first Eastern Conference Wild Card position. Though lots of regular season hockey still remains!
Toronto is coming off a wild 5-4 OT win at home where rookie phenom Auston Matthews had a three-assist night. The Rangers succumbed to the Canadiens after a brilliant save by Carey Price in the dying seconds of overtime forced the game to a shootout, and Montreal prevailed 3-2.
Steve Valiquette and Al Trautwig break down a tightly contested shootout featuring two of the best netminders in the world in New York's loss to Montreal.
1. Down the Middle
An intriguing matchup at center ice will be on display tonight. Toronto has a good mix of feisty, skill and play-making in the middle anchored by Matthews, Nazim Kadri and Tyler Bozak. An equally skilled, play-making group of Ranger centers, Derek Stepan, Mika Zibanejad and Kevin Hayes makes the center matchup worth watching.
Toronto is a team that, by and large, plays with a ton of youthful exuberance. There will be opportunities and chances as a result and the Rangers need to play with solid structure and be best positioned to take advantage.
3. Toronto Power Play
The Leafs power play is the best in the business. While they will play without the talented rookie Mitch Marner, it is still a dangerous part of their game. It will be important to spend as little time as possible in the penalty box. Expect Henrik Lundqvist to be a key penalty-killer for the Blueshirts.
Rangers-Leafs tonight on the MSG Radio Network, 1050 AM New York and the MSG Television Network. Pregame at 7 PM, puck drop a little after 7:30 PM.
Check it out.