TORONTO (AP) — Last week, the Toronto Maple Leafs dealt the New York Rangers a much greater blow than the score reflected.
The Maple Leafs will again try to capitalize on the short-handed Rangers on Thursday night when the teams meet at Air Canada Centre.
Phil Kessel scored a power-play goal in overtime Friday as Toronto (4-0-1) beat New York 4-3, spoiling the Rangers’ home opener.
More concerning to the Rangers (1-2-1) than the outcome, Marian Gaborik and Chris Drury exited with injuries, overshadowing a two-goal, third-period rally to salvage a point in the standings.
New York’s leader last season with 42 goals and 44 assists, Gaborik will miss at least two weeks after separating his shoulder when he was slammed into the glass by Toronto’s Colby Armstrong, who was assessed a boarding penalty.
Drury, the captain, is lost for six weeks after breaking his left index finger for the second time this year.
New York will also need to withstand at least six weeks without Vinny Prospal – second on the team with 58 points in 2009-10 – while he recovers from knee surgery.
Gaborik, Prospal and Drury combined for 76 of New York’s 219 goals last season.
The Rangers struggled without the trio Monday, falling 3-1 to Colorado as their losing streak reached three.
“You’re not going to win many games when you score one goal,” defenseman Michael Del Zotto said.
That goal was scored by Alexander Frolov, who scored his first with New York after struggling to finish with 19 last season for Los Angeles. The left wing has five goals and two assists in his last six games against Toronto, but was held without a shot Friday.
“I am going to try as hard as I can to produce and score, but right now it’s most important for us to play as a team,” Frolov said. “We have enough guys who can score.”
New York could also use some production on the power play, which has come up empty on 10 chances over the last two games.
Toronto lost 2-1 in overtime to the New York Islanders on Monday, as Jean-Sebastien Giguere gave up a goal with 1:34 to play in the extra session. The defeat ended the Maple Leafs’ season-opening four-game winning streak.
“We all know that we’re not going to win them all,” said Giguere, who made 18 saves against the Islanders. “We’re going to face some challenges and stuff like that. The good thing is I can feel guys are mad, they’re irritated with the loss.”
Giguere has been a big part of the Maple Leafs’ strong start, going 3-0-1 with a 1.96 goals-against average. He had 12 stops at New York on Friday.
Kessel and Clarke MacArthur have combined for 10 of Toronto’s 17 goals. They both scored against the Rangers last week, with Kessel netting two and assisting on another tally.
The right wing has found the net in four of the Maple Leafs’ five games after leading the team with 30 goals last season.
The Leafs have won three of their last four home meetings with the Rangers.
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