NHL roundup: Rangers blow by Leafs, Avs blank Ducks, and Yotes bite Devils
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Yesterday the NHL announced the rescheduling of 98 games postponed due to COVID which should take place during February. That’s when the Olympic break was scheduled.
Last night, it was some Olympic effort by the New York Rangers who found themselves down 3-1 after the first period. Powered by their fourth line, NY blew by the Leafs with five unanswered goals to double up the visitors.
Rangers 6, Maple Leafs 3
Ryan Strome scored the tiebreaking goal, Chris Kreider scored his 25th of the season and Adam Fox and Ryan Reaves each scored twice as the New York Rangers rallied for a 6-3 victory over the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.
Reaves recorded his second career two-goal game as the Rangers won for the seventh time in 10 games (7-3-0). Fox netted the tying goal late in the second period and capped the comeback with an empty-net goal with 2:24 remaining.
“I think we’re proving to the league, we’re proving to ourselves, that we’re a contender,” Reaves said. “The standings don’t lie.”
New York goalie Igor Shesterkin made 17 of his 35 saves in the third period. He stopped the last 27 shots he faced.
When it was all said and done, Shesterkin improved his record to 12-0-0 when facing 37+ shots. New York is now 11-0-2 when leading or tied after two periods at home.
Ilya Mikheyev and Mitchell Marner scored in a 46-second span as Toronto had the game’s first seven shots. Michael Bunting also scored in the Maple Leafs’ three-goal opening period. Toronto goalie Jack Campbell logged 21 saves.
“I just thought we got exposed today for being a team that was just soft, soft and purposeless and just kind of playing the game and hoping it was going to work out,” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said after the loss.
Coyotes 4, Devils 1
Dysin Mayo, Lawson Crouse and Travis Boyd scored in a span of fewer than eight minutes in the second period for visiting Arizona, who maximized its opportunities in a win over New Jersey in Newark, N.J.
Johan Larsson scored in the third period for the Coyotes, who won despite being outshot 36-17. Goalie Karel Vejmelka made 35 saves for the Coyotes, who have won two in a row for just the second time this season. Arizona is 5-3-2 in its last 10 games after opening the season 5-21-2.
Nico Hischier scored in the first for the Devils, who have lost three straight and gone nearly two weeks without a win. New Jersey had three games postponed this month due to COVID-related reasons.
“I just wanted to simplify,” Jakob Chychrun said after returning to the lineup from injury. “When you miss that much time, I think you need little refreshers here and there. I felt my feet were moving, I was jumping up into plays. I wanted to defend hard and move my feet, and I think I did a decent job of that.”
Avalanche 2, Ducks 0
Samuel Girard broke a scoreless tie late in the second period and Nazem Kadri added an assist to go along with an empty-net score as visiting Colorado defeated Anaheim.
“Just trying to stay focused, just trying to stay ready,” Kadri said. “I think it’s easy to get sidetracked, especially with such a long season.”
The NHL’s most efficient offense, averaging 4.25 goals per game entering Wednesday’s contest, was uncharacteristically quiet but the Avalanche still were able to extend their winning streak to four games and their points streak to 10 games (9-0-1).
Colorado goalie Pavel Francouz had 34 saves in his second career shutout while playing in place of Darcy Kuemper, who left Monday’s game against the Minnesota Wild with an apparent upper-body injury. Ducks goalie John Gibson had 27 saves in his first game since Jan. 4 after missing the last five games while in COVID-19 protocol.
–Field Level Media contributed to this article