The Rangers finally scored a road win with a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The pregame ceremonies honoring this year's Hall Of Fame inductees was very nice. The Rangers capitalized on a solid game from their backup goaltender, Stephen Valliquette, who was able to do the only thing Lundqvist was not able to do. The Rangers were the last team to win a road game, yet they lead the Atlantic division by 1 point over the Flyers and Islanders.
The pregame warmups began with a bang as Sean Avery and Darcy Tucker went at it at center ice. In the first period, Avery and Tucker got together and recieved coincidental minors. As they got out of the box, Tucker took down Avery and the party began. Both landed a few good puches but the slight desicion goes to Avery who landed on top of the pile. [Avery Watch: FIGHT]
Avery continued his success in the second period as he drove behind the Toronto net from the left wing. He put on the breaks, shook off a defender and sent a backhand to the front of the net. The puck landed on the stick of Shanahan who banged it through the legs of Toskala for the first goal. [Avery Watch: ASSIST]The Rangers have scored the first goal in the past nine games, of which they have won seven.
The scoring continued as a Girardi onetimer from the right circle was blocked by Toskala. The puck jumped in the air and Shanahan batted it out of the air. Avery found it at the left goalmouth and stuffed it in. [Avery Watch: GOAL] Avery completed the "Natual Gordie Howe Hat Trick" with a fight, a assist and a goal coming in uninterrupted succession. It was the second Gordie Howe Hat Trick while with the Rangers for Avery who is prone to these kind of ridiculous nights.
The Rangers played great offense during the first half of the period but Toronto answered late in the second. Alexei Ponikorovsky scored tow goals. The first came as a penalty to Gomez was expiring. He received a pass from the point in the right slot and sent a one-timer over the left shoulder of Valliquette. A few seconds later, Sundin drove to the net and was stopped. The rebound sat by the left pad of Valliquette and Ponikorovsky, who was pressured by two Rangers, banged it in after a couple of tries.
The third period was uneventful, barring a few good saves by both goaltenders. After Marcel Hossa drew a hooking penalty as regulation time expired, the Rangers started OT on the PP. The Toronto penalty kill was excellent throughout the night and no different on this occassion. Sundin stole the puck at the right point and drove in against Drury on the right wing. He cut right, leaving the ouck on his skate, then pushed it back to his stick. Drury and Valliqutte were schooled but Valliqutee managed to throw a right pad out to barely stop Sundin's backhand try. The last minutes of OT were tense but benign and the game headed into a shootout.
Antropov opened the shottout with a rising wrist shot that was knocked away by the glove of Valliquette.
Shahanan shot for the Rangers and sent a quick release wirst shot over the blocker of Toskala.
Sundin shot second for the leafs but shot it over the glove of Valliquette and over the net.
Hossa sealed it with a gorgeous deke that left Toskala sprawling on his stomach and backhanded it into the net.