Maple Leafs Dominate Their Trip Through New York

Published February 1, 2018 at 9:53 PM

"The Toronto Maple Leafs may never want to leave the boroughs of New York. 24 hours after a 5-0 victory in Brooklyn, the Leafs rolled to a 4-0 win in Manhattan on Thursday night.

After Justin Holl became the first Maple Leafs defenseman to score in his NHL debut since Claire Alexander in 1974 last night, he wasted little time to get the second goal of his young career at 8:42 of the first period. Ryan McDonagh turned the puck over to Travis Dermott who got it over to Holl at the top of the right circle where he snapped a shot through a Zach Hyman screen and past Henrik Lundqvist.
James van Riemsdyk doubled the Maple Leafs lead at 15:23. Even though he would not get credit for a point, Nikita Zaitsev started the play with a beautiful stretch pass to Tyler Bozak, who dropped it to Connor Brown for a lead pass to van Riemsdyk. JVR got Lundqvist to open up and then use his backhand to slide the puck between his legs.
It is very appropriate that Patrick Marleau scored during the Maple Leafs dads' trip since he is the official team dad. Less than a minute into the second period, Brady Skjei turned the puck over to Nazem Kadri in the neutral zone. Skjei did recover in time to block Kadri's shot attempt, but the puck went right to Marleau in the high slot where he quickly fired it past Lundqvist's stick side.
After providing the screen on the opening goal, Hyman extended the Leafs lead to 4-0 at 3:05 of the second frame. Hyman played give-and-go with William Nylander and then went straight to the net where he went forehand/backhand to beat Lundqvist for his 10th goal, matching his total from last year. Auston Matthews picked up the secondary assist, his 17th helper of the year. Lundqvist was pulled after this goal and replaced by Ondrej Pavalec.
The Leafs did not take the foot off the gas as they outshot the Rangers 15-13 during the third period, but did not slip one past Pavalec. Curtis McElhinney made 25 saves for his second shutout of the season and seventh of his NHL career. It will be interesting to see how many more starts McElhinney gets down the stretch as it seems that the Leafs are pretty much set in third place in the Atlantic Division.
The Maple Leafs are off until they head to Boston on Saturday night for a big game against the second place Bruins. "

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