NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Goaltender Cam Talbot made 25 saves to lead the New York Rangers to a 2-1 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday night at Madison Square Garden.
Center J.T. Miller scored for New York, which improved to 18-18-2. The Rangers finished their franchise-record nine-game homestand with a 3-4-2 mark.
Left wing Mats Zuccarello and center Derek Stepan scored in the shootout for the Rangers.
Toronto fell to 18-16-5. Goaltender Jonathan Bernier made 42 saves. Center Nazem Kadri scored for the Leafs. Left wing Joffrey Lupul was the only Leafs skater to score in the shootout.
Miller opened the scoring at 7:04 of the third period with a one-time blast from the slot off a feed from left wing Chris Kreider, who was stationed behind the Toronto net. Miller's goal, his second of the season and the fourth of his NHL career, broke a 0-0 deadlock that spanned the game's first 47:03.
But the game was hardly a defensive affair, despite the pace of the game slowing considerably in the second period, following a wide opening 20 minutes. Where the first period saw the Rangers and Leafs skate freely throughout all three zones to trade offensive chances, the second became a
tighter checking affair.
Still, there were scoring opportunities, the best of which occurred midway through the period when defenseman Ryan McDonagh's point shot eluded Bernier but ricocheted off the far post. New York surged after McDonagh struck iron, as they generated 22 shots on goal in the period. The Rangers outshot Toronto, 43-26, and had a 66-42 advantage in attempted shots.
Despite the vast disparity in shots and shot attempts, the teams entered the third period deadlocked at 0-0. Much of that was due to the goaltenders. Bernier was brilliant while often under siege, swallowing rebounds and flashing a strong glove hand.
Bernier's counterpart in goal made 10 saves in the first, five in the second, eight in the third and three in overtime. The Leafs finally pierced Talbot with 1:24 left when Kadri shoved David Clarkson's rebound under Talbot. A video review upheld the goal.
Neither team was able to take advantage of the man advantage. New York was 0-for-4 on the power play, while Toronto went 0-for-4.
NOTES: Prior to Monday night's game, New York Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault did not explain his decision to sit No. 1 G Henrik Lundqvist. "We're playing back-to-back, four games in six nights, my focus right now is on what we need to do on the ice to beat a very good team. And we'll leave it at that," Vigneault said. "It is a good question. Right now, (I'm) focused on Toronto. I think for us, playing back-to-back, four-games in six nights, we've had a lot of work and I'm (giving my) full attention to that right now." ... The Maple Leafs' charter flight was delayed three hours Sunday due to an ice storm that has affected Toronto. "A few of the guys were affected by it. I guess they didn't have any backup generators. I extended the offer. I know (RW
David Clarkson), his outage went. Anyone who wants to come, feel free," Toronto Maple Leafs C Nazem Kadri said after the optional skate at Madison Square Garden. "(Clarkson's) got a family and I've got a bachelor pad. It's a bit of a different look. It's up to him."