The Toronto Maple Leafs took their second straight shutout win against the New York Rangers last night thanks to goaltender Curtis McElhinney who was on top of his game.
McElhinney, in the second year of his contract with the Leafs, is becoming at ease as he sees the progress of his career, and that is coming through when he is on the ice. Last night saw the goaltender stop twenty-shots giving the veteran his second shutout this year and the seventh in his career and the Leafs a 4-0 win.
For McElhinney, playing his 2nd season with the Leafs said,
“I just feel like I’m getting better and better. I feel certainly more comfortable about my game than where I did five years ago.”
McElhinney is having one of his best seasons in his career with his goals scored against being 2.25 having won three of his last five games in net.
A Great Night for Justin Holl
The Leafs scored four goals last night with Patrick Marleau, Zach Hyman, James van Riemsdyk and Justin Holl each putting one past Lundqvist. The win saw the team earn this 2nd shutout of the season and completing the third win against the New York Rangers this season.
For Holl, who plays defence with the Leafs, his goal put him into the history books as one of only six defensemen to score goals in two successive games. The only Leafs defensemen to accomplish this with Daniel Marois.
This milestone came after Anderson helped give the Leafs the first of the two shutouts after making twenty-five saves on Wednesdays night’s game against the New York Islanders. It also saw Toronto’s shutout streak extend to over 142 minutes, which would have been more had Dallas not scored in the second period when they met the Leafs last week.
Commenting on the streak, McElhinney said,
“We did a great job in front of the net. The biggest takeaway from the game tonight and even the last one was smart decisions with the puck at the blue line.”
For Babcock, he is pleased with how the team is performing. Last night’s game saw the team improve to seven wins, two ties and three losses in the last twelve played and are now fourth in the Atlantic Division just behind Boston.
“We think we’re getting better,” he said. “We think we have a chance to be quite a bit better so we’re just a work in progress. … We’re deeper than we’ve been, we have four lines.”
Rangers Pulled Lundqvist early
Lundqvist was not having a good night and was pulled shortly into the second period due to letting four goals in after only thirteen shots on net. Replaced by backup goalie, Ondrej Pavelec may have put an end to the Leafs scoring but did not help put the Rangers back into the game making last night its eighth loss in the last twelve. This will impact how hockey sportsbettors look at the Rangers when considering future games and who they are facing.
While the Rangers managed a win against San Jose just prior to the All-Star break, Rangers Coach, Alain Vigneault, was not keen on using the break as an excuse.
“We had two really good practices prior to this, so we should have been better than this.”
The Rangers Rick Nash managed two shots on McElhinney in the third, with the first of those coming from the right side of the circle and the second a mere six seconds later when Nash attempted to tip the puck into the net. Jimmy Vesey was also denied by McElhinney halfway through the third.
The Leafs pulled out front in the first period and the second period added to that total to give them a 4-0 lead, one that the Rangers were unable to change. James van Riemsdyk scored in the first period against Lundqvist, as did Patrick Marleau less than a minute later. Zach Hyman made it 3-0 when he took a shot from the left of Lundqvist and Holl gave the Leafs their fourth for the night with his shot from the faceoff circle.