The stage was set for the New York Rangers (3-3-2) to have a magical night. It was the home opener of a renovated Madison Square Garden, as the hallowed venue was packed with the Blueshirts faithful. Everything seemed to be going the way of the home team, with the exception of the results.
Inconsistency was the key as the Rangers fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs (6-2-1) 4-2 in hockey action on Thursday night. New York had good puck movement early on, gaining the 1-0 lead at the 6:23 mark.
Dan Girardi (1) tallied the first goal at MSG off a strong move from Marian Gaborik to get the Garden rocking. New York continued to swarm the Toronto cage throughout the first, recording a whopping 16 shots in the frame.
Leading the energetic charge was Captain Ryan Callahan, who showed his blue collar attitude throughout the course of the game. ‘Cally’ hustled to the point to where the Toronto players were ‘nudging’ him into their keeper to cause two interference calls by the referees.
Sadly for the fans of the Rangers though, those two calls, cost the teams two goals in what was a momentum-changing moment for the fans in attendance. As the horn sounded to start the second period of play, the Leafs started to tilt the ice in their favor scoring four goals in two periods of play.
Michael Del Zotto did respond with one final tally for the Rangers at the 15:26 mark of the third period but time ran out on any comeback attempt for the home team, as the Leafs skated away with their sixth victory.
For New York, who had the right idea to start the night tossing every puck they could at the Leafs cage, wound up outshot by Toronto by a tally of 26-14 in the final two periods. The loss also continues a disturbing trend for Rangers’ fans-as victories at Madison Square Garden have been a rare occurrence.
The Rangers will look to reverse that trend on Saturday as they will square-off against the Ottawa Senators. The game is scheduled to air on the MSG network, with the face-off slated for 3:00 p.m.
Written on October 28, 2011