7:06 pm
December 22

Rangers @ Maple Leafs

Who will WIN this matchup?

New York Rangers (15-13-5)

@ Toronto Maple Leafs (23-10-2)


Starting Goalies:

Alexandar Georgiev (NYR): Confirmed

Frederik Andersen (TOR): Confirmed


Current odds:

New York Rangers: (+220)

Toronto Maple Leafs: (-260)


 The Toronto Maple Leafs’ rabid fans likely are pleased as punch to see the team re-ignite its high-octane offense in the last two outings. The Maple Leafs bid to skate into the Christmas break with their third straight victory on Saturday when they host the New York Rangers at Scotiabank Arena. Auston Matthews and defenseman Morgan Rielly registered their second four-point performances of the season in Thursday’s 6-1 romp versus Florida, with the former collecting his 18th career two-goal performance to go along with two assists while the latter set up a personal high-tying four tallies. Matthews scored a goal and set up three others while Rielly had a pair of assists as Toronto posted a three-game sweep of New York last season.

• Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello collected a goal and three assists in that season series and has 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in his last 11 games versus the Maple Leafs. The 31-year-old Norwegian has posted two assists in three contests since returning from a three-week absence due to a groin injury.

• After yielding six power-play goals on 17 opportunities, New York showed considerable improvement on the penalty kill by thwarting all five of Anaheim’s chances in Tuesday’s 3-1 win. “Listen, we haven’t felt great about ourselves for a while,” Rangers coach David Quinn said. “It’s been duly noted that we’ve been in a little bit of a spiral here; we’ve blown some leads; we’ve played some good hockey, but not good enough, and found ways to lose.” Kevin Hayes has been playing some good hockey, scoring a short-handed goal with 40 seconds left in the third period against the Ducks to boost his point streak to five games (four goals, six assists).

• Toronto answered an 0-for-17 drought on the power play by converting all three opportunities with the man advantage versus the Panthers. “I don’t think there was any sense of panic,” said Maple Leafs center John Tavares, who scored on the power play to highlight his two-goal performance Thursday. “We just tried to fine-tune, refocus, look at some things, get some practice time, some good video sessions, talk about it and sometimes you just get some better bounces and get rewarded. Overall, got some good results there and obviously, want to carry it forward.” The 28-year-old has six goals in his last seven contests overall, although the former Islander was limited to just one assist in four encounters versus the Rangers last season.

•  Toronto Cs Mitch Marner (four goals, two assists) and Nazem Kadri (one goal, five assists) are each riding three-game point streaks.

• New York C Mika Zibanejad has three goals and six assists in seven games this month.

• Rangers D Brady Skjei will play in his 200th career game on Saturday.

StreakSmarter Pick
Toronto Maple Leafs