Toronto Maple Leafs vs. New York Rangers - 1/4/14
New York Rangers (20-19-2) at Toronto Maple Leafs (21-16-5)
NHL Hockey: Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Air Canada Centre)
The Line: Toronto Maple Leafs -116 / New York Rangers +105 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The most frustrating thing for the New York Rangers so far this season is that they're a hockey club that has absolutely no consistency from game to game. This is a hockey club that can look really good and like they're turning the corner one night, and then the very next night look completely lost out on the ice. Unfortunately the latter was the case on Friday night in Pittsburgh against the Penguins after New York had reeled off two consecutive wins in Florida. The Rangers allowed a beat up, injury plagued Penguins team to out work them and run them out of the building right from the start. New York fell behind 2-0 and when they didn't convert on their numerous chances on a power play late in the first period it was clear that this was going to be one that wasn't going to go their way. Rick Nash still looks like a deer in headlights, Ryan Callahan's return to the lineup provided no spark, and Henrik Lundqvist can't buy a break this year. There's still plenty of time for this team to get things going but they need to go on one of those runs that can really get them some confidence and make them believe that they can be the better team every night they're on the ice. New York will have to bounce back quickly because a trip to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs on Saturday will be no easy task.
Toronto comes into this one off a wonderful performance in the Winter Classic against the Detroit Red Wings at Michigan Stadium. It was a hockey game that had to endure snow throughout the duration, constant stoppages to clear the ice, mounds of snow in the corners, and all sorts of other things. Toronto blew a lead late but they found a way to come up with the extra point in this one. James van Riemsdyk's 15th goal of the year came in the closing minute of the first period and it tied the game 1-1 heading into the second. The score would remain tied until the third period when Tyler Bozak gave the Leafs the lead before watching Detroit tie it with under six minutes to play. After a scoreless overtime session it was Joffrey Lupul scoring in the shootout and Bozak finishing off the winner to lift Toronto to the 3-2 win. Jonathan Bernier was phenomenal in this one, stopping 41 shots and keeping the Maple Leafs in the game throughout most of the day. This match up on Saturday night between two original six clubs is hard to gauge because of the ups and downs of both clubs. After that performance from New York last night it's hard to like them against anyone.
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