Biron And Rangers Blank Maple Leafs, 3-0
TORONTO (AP) — New York backup Martin Biron made 20 saves, and the Rangers bounced back from a streak-busting loss to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-0 on Saturday night.
After a lackluster 3-0 home loss to Ottawa on Thursday that broke a five-game winning streak, the NHL-leading Rangers (28-10-4) got goals from grinders Mike Rupp, Brian Boyle and Derek Stepan and earned their 11th victory in 13 games.
Toronto (22-17-5), seventh in the Eastern Conference, was shut out for just the second time this season. The Maple Leafs had won five straight at home, but were unable to generate many quality scoring chances.
Jonas Gustavsson made his sixth straight start, a somewhat surprising move since he was also in net for the Maple Leafs’ 3-2 loss at Buffalo on Friday night.
Toronto didn’t have much jump while playing for the second straight night. The Maple Leafs managed just 12 shots on Biron through two periods and were trailing 2-0 heading into the third period.
Rupp opened the scoring 3:35 into the second, completing a crisp passing play with Stepan and Wojtek Wolski on a 3-on-1 break that developed after a bad line change by Toronto defenseman Mike Komisarek.
Toronto had its share of chances in the second. Phil Kessel had a shot hit the crossbar, and Cody Franson’s drive through traffic struck Biron’s mask and landed in his glove.
Boyle gave the tight-checking Rangers a two-goal lead at 16:28 with a long wrist shot. He pointed skyward in relief after ending a 22-game scoring drought.
The Leafs appeared to break Biron’s shutout bid in the third on a low shot by Tim Connolly, but video review was inconclusive and the score remained 2-0.
Stepan added an insurance goal with a nice deke at 6:01.
The Maple Leafs killed both minor penalties they were assessed. It was their sixth straight game without allowing a power-play goal.
NOTES: The Leafs took the warmup in camouflage sweaters on Canadian Forces Night. … Brandon Dubinsky sat out for the Rangers because of a sore shoulder. … Toronto scratched Jay Rosehill and Jake Gardiner. … Gustavsson won two previous starts against the Rangers this season in New York. … Biron earned his third assist of the season on Stepan’s goal.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.)