- Katie Strang, ESPN.com
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In a three-point game with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the New York Rangers managed to leave with two of them in a 3-2 shootout win at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night to wrap up a home-and-home set against the Leafs.
Despite a pair of goals from Toronto's Phil Kessel, the Rangers edged the Leafs on Mats Zuccarello's lone shootout goal. The Blueshirts remain in eighth place in the Eastern Conference (due to fewer regulation and overtime wins than the Islanders) with 44 points.
Has their number: Kessel first ripped off a quick shot that beat Lundqvist glove-side for a 1-0 lead early in the second period and tallied again in the third. Kessel, who notched a pair of goals in the Leafs’ 4-3 win over the Rangers on Monday, capitalized on Dan Girardi’s turnover, converting on a 2-on-1 rush to knot the score at 2 with 11:41 left in regulation. Kessel’s second goal of the night came after more than 20 minutes without the Leafs registering a shot on goal.
Big Mac: With the game tied in the second period, Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh ripped a deep wrist shot through traffic to beat Leafs netminder James Reimer for a 2-1 lead at 16:43. McDonagh was reunited with defensive partner Dan Girardi Wednesday; he played with Anton Stralman on Monday.
All tied up: Carl Hagelin showed some persistence around the net, burying a rebound at the right post after his own failed attempt to be rewarded with a game-tying goal midway through the second period. Derek Stepan extended his point streak to six games with an assist on the marker at 10:55. Stepan has nine points (four goals, five assists) during that span.
Rough stuff: After a goalless first period with no penalties called, Ryane Clowe dropped the gloves against Leafs defenseman Mark Fraser early in the middle frame. It was Clowe’s second fight as a Ranger since being acquired in a trade from the San Jose Sharks last week.
Grabovski demoted: Toronto’s Mikhail Grabovski was demoted to the fourth line for Wednesday game. The 29-year-old centered a line between Frazer McLaren and Colton Orr after being limited to only 10:39 of ice time in Monday’s game against the Rangers.
Up Next: Rangers at Islanders, Saturday at 7 p.m.
98dPierre LeBrun and Joe McDonald