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Rangers’ streak snapped in 4-2 loss to Toronto

Brandon Prust fighting for his teammates in the Battle of the Big Apple. Photo by: Stacy Podelski

The New York Rangers (15-6-3) had a five game winning streak in their 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs (15-10-2) in hockey action on Monday night.  The Blueshirts fought back, but could not overcome a faster and more physical Leafs’ team.

Brandon Prust kept his fighting streak alive at the 2:05 mark of the first period, dropping gloves and exchanging blows with Jay Rosehill. Taking momentum in the game though was the Leafs’ who seemed to have jet packs on their skates, as Toronto hustled to every puck on the ice.

Toronto took the 1-0 lead when Cody Franson (2) connected on a wicked slap shot, which went past Rangers cager Henrik Lundqvist at the 6:01 mark in the first period.  Marian Gaborik had a great opportunity to tie things up for the Blueshirts at the 8:32 mark.

Gabby was set-up beautifully on a pass from Ruslan Fedotenko, but the duo could not connect for the first Rangers goal.  New York started to gain positive momentum after blueliner Ryan McDonagh blocked a goal-scoring opportunity by the Leafs before the end of the first period of play.

Though the Rangers played better in the second half, Toronto doubled up their score at the 5:12 mark when Tim Connolly (4) recorded a wrister for a 2-0 lead. Joffrey Lupul (13) tallied the third Maple Leafs goal one minute later, cashing in on a power play opportunity.

New York started to scratch back though, as Artem Anisimov who led the physical play on the ice for the Blueshirts, was rewarded with a goal at the 13:00 mark. Anisimov (4) connected on a quick release snap shot to start cutting into the Toronto lead.

The Rangers continued their second period comeback, when Gaborik (13) cashes in on a 5-on-3 opportunity at the 14:32 mark.  Gabby was set-up beautifully by the combination of Derek Stephan (11) and Brad Richards (13), who continue their fine play for the Rangers.

For Richards, the center now has a six game point streak, as for Gaborik the winger now has four goals in the last six games. Toronto continued their barrage but Lundqvist (26 saves) was up to the task in turning away the Leafs before the end of the frame.

Fans of the Blueshirts had a scary moment at the 16:15 mark when Michael Del Zotto who hit the boards hard, thankfully the blueliner returned quickly and skated well for the rest of the game.

New York continued to skate hard, but was unable to avoid dropping their second game to Toronto on Madison Square Garden ice this season.  The Leafs capped off the victory on a short-handed empty net goal at the 19:55 mark when David Steckel (5) recorded the wrister for the 4-2 victory.

The Rangers will look to rebound in a Thursday night showdown against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The game between the Blueshirts and the Bolts will air on the MSG network, with the face-off slated for 7:00 p.m.

Written on December 6, 2011

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