Final OT

Series (Game 3 of 4)

New York leads 3-1

Game 1: Monday, October 12th
Maple Leafs2Final
Game 2: Saturday, October 17th
Maple Leafs1
Game 3: Saturday, March 27th
Maple Leafs3
Game 4: Wednesday, April 7th
Maple Leafs1Final

Rangers 2

(33-32-10, 76 pts)

Maple Leafs 3

(28-35-12, 68 pts)

Coverage: CBC

7:00 PM ET, March 27, 2010

Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

1 2 3 OT T
NYR 2 0 0 02
TOR 0 1 1 13

N. Kulemin (Maple Leafs - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

J. Gustavsson (Maple Leafs - G): Saves: 36, Save Pct.: .947

H. Lundqvist (Rangers - G): Saves: 29, Save Pct.: .906

Rangers-Maple Leafs Preview


At the very least, the New York Rangers are playing as if they belong in the playoffs.

Their postseason chances appearing bleak entering this week, the Rangers now look to win their third straight game as they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

A three-game losing streak seemed to have New York (33-32-9) resigned to missing the postseason for the first time in five years. But the Rangers have some hope after routing the Islanders 5-0 on Wednesday night and coming back to beat New Jersey 4-3 in a shootout the following evening.

New York, in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with eight games remaining, has moved within three points of eighth-place Boston and five behind seventh-place Philadelphia.

"We can't let up because of the situation we're in," coach John Tortorella said.

In the opener of a six-game road trip, the Rangers rallied from three one-goal deficits versus the Devils, including one with 16.5 seconds remaining in regulation. Chris Drury scored that goal, living up to his reputation as one of the league's clutch players.

New York is 9-2-1 when its captain scores. Drury has not found the back of the net in his last 12 games against the Maple Leafs (27-35-12), but the Rangers have outscored the East's worst team 11-3 in winning two matchups this season.

Four of New York's last six opponents are currently out of playoff position.

"There is no sense of feeling the pressure here," Tortorella said. "You lose a couple of games with so few left, you're done. You have to just go out and play."

Tortorella hopes to have Ryan Callahan healthy down the stretch. The right wing limped off early in the second period against New Jersey after aggravating a left leg injury, then returned for one shift before missing the rest of the game. His status is uncertain.

Callahan is second on the team with 19 goals and fourth with 37 points.

New York may not need much scoring if Henrik Lundqvist gets to face the Maple Leafs again. Lundqvist is 2-0-1 with a 1.30 goals-against average in his last three games against them.

On Thursday, Lundqvist became the first goalie in league history to earn 30 wins in each of his first five seasons. He's the first Rangers netminder to have five straight 30-win seasons.

Toronto has been playing well in recent weeks, and rookie Jonas Gustavsson deserves much of the credit. He's won six straight games, posting a 1.92 GAA.

Gustavsson stopped 19 shots and Mikhail Grabovski's tip-in 39 seconds into overtime gave the Maple Leafs a 2-1 win over Atlanta on Thursday night. Toronto has won seven of nine and six straight that have gone past regulation but will miss the playoffs for a fifth straight season.

"It's good for our confidence," said Gustavsson, who has appeared more composed since taking part in the Olympics with Sweden.

Right wing Phil Kessel has also played well, tallying seven goals and three assists over his last nine games.

Kessel, though, has missed both meetings with the Rangers this season due to a shoulder injury, and has been limited to one goal and two assists in 11 games against them.