The Toronto Maple Leafs look to hold on to one of the last Wildcard spots to the playoffs and a win over the New York Rangers, when they meet this Wednesday at the Madison Square Garden at 7 PM ET, could only help.
Toronto has one of the two Eastern wildcard spots with 72 points, three ahead of Columbus, who owns the other spot and four points ahead Detroit and Washington, which are on the chase. The Maple Leafs recently lost to the Blue Jackets, recording their third loss since coming back from the Winter Olympics break.
“We didn’t play a full 60 minutes tonight and that’s on us,” defenseman Cody Franson said. “The other two games could’ve gone either way.
“We were rolling pretty good there and feeling quite confident in what we were doing (before the Olympic break). When you’re rolling like that, sometimes it can be difficult to find that smoothness in how you were performing before.”
The Rangers have 69 points, but they are solid in the third place if the Metropolitan division; however, they can’t afford to lose one step. New York lost to the Bruins on Sunday and against the Flyers on Saturday.
“Painful. Extremely painful,” goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said about the loss against Boston. “I thought we played pretty good. They worked hard, but their goals were unbelievable with the bounces they got — a couple of deflections and a post and in.”
The NY Rangers are 6-1 SU in their last 7 games when playing Toronto.