Ryan Reaves’ Two Goals help in win over Toronto Maple Leafs

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By Jordan Laroche

This highly anticipated matchup between two of the highest-scoring offenses and two of the best goalies in the NHL was no letdown. The New York Rangers came out with a win in what was a very entertaining game that saw slick offense, stellar goaltending as well as some big hits.

The Rangers found themselves in a hole early, being down 3-1 at the end of the first period. Goals from Ilya Mikheyev, Mitch Marner, and Michael Bunting left the Rangers on their heels going into the second period.

Ryan Reaves scored his first of the season, and first as a Ranger, after 33 games with the club. This is just the second multi-goal game of his career, the last coming in 2013.

“You never want to go without scoring.” Said Reaves “I tend to do that a lot in my career. Feels good to get them out of the way, especially in this barn.”

But it wasn’t just Reaves, the whole fourth line made a mark on this game as Greg McKegg and Kevin Rooney had strong games. The line generated five shots on net and were rewarded with extra ice time.

Adam Fox continued his remarkable season as he became the first Ranger since Brian Leetch to reach 40 points in 40 games or less. Fox finished with two goals and one assist which puts him just one point behind Victor Hedman for the league lead in defenseman points.

Despite letting in three goals in the first period, Igor Shesterkin managed to rebound in the second period and made some critical saves down the stretch, including 17 saves in the third period. Shesterkin was stellar on the penalty kill, helping the Rangers kill three of the four penalties they took.

Five unanswered goals for the Rangers in the second and third put the game out of reach for the Leafs who had a disallowed goal late in the third period. The team looked flat during the second period and allowed the Rangers to climb back into the game, taking the win.

Box Score:

1st Period

G: Ilya Mikheyev (6) A: Pierre Engvall (9)

G: Mitch Marner (8) A: William Nylander (21) John Tavares (21)

G: Ryan Reaves (1) A: Greg Mckegg (3) Adam Fox (35)

2nd Period

G: Ryan Reaves (2) A: K’Andre Miller (5) Jacob Trouba (11)

G: Adam Fox (6) A: Ryan Strome (21) Artemi Panarin (29)

3rd Period:

G: Ryan Strome (9) A: Ryan Lindgren (4) Artemi Panarin (30)

G: Chris Kreider (25) A: Jacob Trouba (12) Mika Zibanejad (22)

G: Adam Fox (7) A: Mika Zibanejad (23)





New York Rangers come back to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2

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By Jordan Laroche

The New York Rangers came into last night’s game off a four-game west-coast road trip which they only went 2-2. Losses to the Vegas Golden Knights and Los Angeles Kings were mainly due to numerous players being placed in COVID protocol such as Artemi Panarin and Igor Shesterkin . But the Rangers would have most of their players back for this rivalry matchup.

The Flyers on the other hand have been disastrous as of late, with their last win coming on December 29th against the Seattle Kraken and have been on a 7-game losing streak after last night’s game.

The first period didn’t have much in store for either side, there weren’t a lot of scoring opportunities nor shots. But despite that each side registered a goal with Mika Zibanejad scoring on a slapshot on the powerplay and Oskar Linblom scoring off a bad rebound by Shesterkin.

The Rangers would come out in the second strong, dominating most of the play. Carter Hart stopped all 12 Rangers shots during the second period, while the Flyers were letting this game slip from them.

Cam York scored his first NHL goal to open the scoring in the third period as the Flyers took a 2-1 lead. Igor Shesterkin’s strong play managed to keep it at 2-1 when Filip Chytil capitalized on a tic-tac-toe play setup by Ryan Strome and Panarin. Chris Krieder scored the game winner off a deflection from Adam Fox to score his team leading 24th goal.

Box Score:

1st Period:

G: Mika Zibanejad (14) A: Adam Fox (33) Artemi Panarin (27)

G: Oskar Lindblom (5) A: Travis Koneckny (15) Scott Laughton (6)

2nd Period:

No goals

3rd Period:

G: Cam York (1)

G: Filip Chytil (4) A: Artemi Panarin (28) Ryan Strome (20)

G: Chris Krieder (24) A: Adam Fox (34) Kaapo Kakko (9)





Timothy Liljegren scores first NHL goal in wild Toronto Maple Leafs comeback win

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By Neil Becker

 Defenceman Timothy Liljegren enjoyed his finest moment in a Toronto Maple Leafs uniform.

Due to fellow defenceman Justin Holl being put in COVID-19 protocol, Liljegren took his place and didn’t disappoint as he registered three hits, three shots on goal and most importantly scored his first NHL goal.

Liljegren, who was playing his 21st game of the season and first since December 14th in Edmonton, scored that first goal in the second period when he fired a one-timer from the blue line past St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington in what was an eventual 6-5 Leafs win.

Playing a momentum swinging game in what was a noisy Enterprise Center, fans saw the Leafs lose a 3-1 first period and 4-3 second period leads before eventually getting the game winner from Ilya Mikheyev who scored his fifth with only 3:15 remaining in regulation.

Leafs power forward Austin Matthews continues to re-write the franchise record books. Matthews, not only extended his franchise record of scoring in ten straight road games, but also became the first Leaf player to score 25 or more goals in his first six seasons. It wasn’t until the third period when at the 11:24 mark, this rising superstar scored his 25th which proved pivotal as it tied the game at 5-5.

Also having an immediate impact was Matthew’s linemate and friend, forward Mitch Marner who in his first game after coming out of COVID-19 protocol, scored his seventh goal at 7:32 of the first period.

Also having big games for Toronto were the likes of captain John Tavares who scored his 15th goal to break what was a four- game point drought. Meanwhile pesky forward Michael Bunting snapped a 10- game scoring drought when in the first he scored his eighth of the season.

The Blues, who came into action sporting a 15-3-2 home record, were severely shorthanded as they were missing some crucial players in scorers Vladimir Tarasenko, Brayden Schenn, David Perron, Pavel Buchnevich and defenceman Colton Parayko who were in COVID-19 protocol.

However, St. Louis did have star forward Ryan O’Reilly who had a two- goal game with his first being the opening goal which came at 3:58 into regulation.

Toronto would respond with three consecutive first period goals starting with a brilliant face-off play from Matthews. Matthews who was taking an offensive draw against O’Reilly, slapped the puck forward for what turned out to be a shot on goal. Meanwhile Bunting sprinted to the net and scored at the 5:43 mark on a rebound. Less than two minutes later a rejuvenated Marner snapped a rising shot past Binnington which was followed by Tavares scoring his 15th as Toronto carried what seemed like a comfortable 3-1 lead into the second.

St. Louis, who came into action riding a 13- game home point streak showed why they are 6-2-1 on the year when behind heading to the second period. Showing strong character, they rebounded for consecutive goals 1:40 apart starting with O’Reilly with his eighth before Brandon Saad notched his 13th at the 5:20 mark of the second to make it a brand- new game at 3-3.

Once again, the Leafs would have a lead as Liljegren scored the go-ahead goal on a point shot before the Blues rebounded as Robert Thomas with less than four minutes remaining in the period scored his fifth goal to make square things up after 40 minutes of regulation.  

Early in the third, St. Louis grabbed momentum when Niko Mikkola tallied his third goal at the 3:25 mark before Toronto pulled off a dramatic win.

Matthews, who is now tied for second with Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin in league scoring, tied things up at 5-5 as he scored his 25th goal at the 11:24 mark on the power play.

Overtime was looking like a strong possibility until Mikheyev capitalized on a Blues giveaway and scored his fifth goal in seven games which stood out as the eventual game winner.

The win gives Toronto 51 points which leaves them six points behind the defending Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers in the race for first place in the Atlantic Division.

The Leafs continue their road trip on Wednesday, January 19th at Madison Square Gardens against the New York Rangers with puck drop scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start.



1st. Period                                                                              TOR-STL

3:58  Ryan O’Reilly (7)                                                            0-  1                        

Ivan Barbashev (17), Oskar Sundqvist (4)


5:43   Michael Bunting (8)                                                     1-  1

Austin Matthews (15)


7:32  Mitchell Marner (7)                                                       2-1 


9:27 John Tavares (15)                                                            3-1

Alex Kerfoot (20), Morgan Rielly (26)                                                   


2nd Period                                                                                TOR-STL

3:40  Ryan O’Reilly (8)                                                             3-    2

Niko Mikkola (3)


5:20 Brandon Saad (13)                                                           3-   3

Robert Thomas (25)



8:18  Timothy Liljegren (1)                                                      4-   3

Travis Dermott (3), Pierre Engvall (7)


16:13  Robert Thomas (5)                                                        4-   4     

Jordan Kyrou (24), Brandon Saad


3rd Period                                                                               TOR-STL   

3:25 Niko Mikkola (3)                                                              4-   5

Jordan Kyrou (25), Justin Faulk (10)


11:24 PPG- Austin Matthews (25)                                       5-    5

Mitchell Marner (16), Morgan Rielly (27)      


16:45 Ilya Mikheyev (5)                                                          6-  5

Pierre Engvall (8)



William Nylander scores shootout winner in Toronto Maple Leafs win

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By Neil Becker

Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander’s talent is no longer a secret anywhere in the NHL.

Playing on a team loaded with offensive forwards like Austin Matthews, John Tavares and Mitch Marner, one could be excused for overlooking the elite skills of Nylander.

Nylander, who at 25 years of age is just hitting his prime, continued his scoring prowess on Tuesday night when he had a first period goal and capitalized with the shootout winner in the Leafs 4-3 road victory against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena.

Looking to bounce back after suffering a 5-4 overtime loss on Saturday night against the Colorado Avalanche, the Leafs continued their road trip in Vegas where once again goalie Jack Campbell was solid. Campbell, who has played himself into Vezina Trophy conversation, made 31 saves including 14 in the second period alone.

The Leafs got that early jump when Nylander scored his 16th goal of the season which came at 1:24 of the first when on a breakaway, he went backhand to forehand before scoring for a 1-0 lead.

Meanwhile Vegas, who only had six first period shots managed to make it a brand- new game when at the 13- minute mark, forward Keegan Kolesar capitalized on the power play with his third goal to square things up after 20 minutes of regulation.

Riding the momentum of that tying goal, Vegas dominated most of the second as they outshot the Leafs 14-6, but couldn’t beat Campbell. Meanwhile Toronto struck for goals from Austin Matthews with his 23rd at the 11:23 mark followed five minutes and three seconds later by Ilya Mikheyev with his fourth to give Toronto a 3-1 lead.

For a second game in a row the Leafs couldn’t hold a lead as Vegas answered back with tallies from William Karlsson with his fifth at the 1:34 mark followed just over 10 minutes later by veteran defenceman Alex Pietrangelo who on the power play scored his sixth goal of the season to tie things up at 3-3 and eventually force overtime.

Both teams had some glorious overtime chances but nothing was solved which meant both squads had a shootout to decide the extra point.

Nylander, who was the Leafs final shooter skated in on Vegas goalie Robin Lehner before calmly snapping a shot over his glove for what was the game’s only shootout goal. This was the fifth win in six games for the Leafs who sit four points behind the defending Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers for top spot in the Atlantic Division. Meanwhile the Leafs have improved to a remarkable 21-4-2 since limping out of the starting gate with a 2-4-1 start.

There is no rest for Toronto who will next see action on Wednesday night at Gila River Arena against the Phoenix Coyotes with puck drop scheduled for 10 p.m.



1ST. period

1:24   William Nylander (16)                         TOR- VGK

          Morgan Rielly (25), Alex Kerfoot (19)      1-   0


13:00 PPG- Keegan Kolesar (3)                         1-1

Evegeni Dadonov (9), Chandler Stephenson (26)



2nd. Period                                                 TOR-VGK

11:43 Austin Matthews (23)                           2-   1

Michael Bunting (14), Ondrej Kase (9)


16:46 Ilya Mikheyev (4)                                 3-1 

Wayne Simmonds (8), Justin Holl (2)


3rd period

1:34 William Karlsson (5)                                3-2

Reilly Smith (18), Mattias Janmark (8)


11:48 PPG-Alex Pietrangelo (6)                       3-3

Jonathan Marchessault (9), Mark Stone (9)     


OT period

No Goals



Golden Knights –Evgeni Dadonov— No Goal

Maple Leafs –Jason Spezza —        No Goal

Golden Knights – Chandler Stephenson– No Goal

Maple Leafs—Austin Matthews—— No Goal

Golden Knights—Jonathan Marchessault—No Goal

Maple Leafs—William Nylander—Winning Goal



Toronto Maple Leafs shutout Ottawa Senators

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By Neil Becker

Not even a long layoff could stop what is a very dangerous Toronto Maple Leafs team.

The Leafs, who have been off since December 14th, exploded on Saturday night for six goals in an empty Scotiabank Arena during a 6-0 rout against the Ottawa Senators.

Playing a starring role was Leafs forward Ilya Mikheyev who in only his second game of the year had seven shots on goal and scored two goals along with posting an impressive +3 on the evening.

Mikheyev, who was out with a thumb injury, had 16:26 of ice time, and going forward will definitely make the Leafs offense that much more explosive.

Toronto, who had five practices in the last six games, showed absolutely no rust as they out-shot the Senators by an 11-4 first-period count while getting short-handed goals 27 seconds apart from defenceman Justin Holl with his first followed at 14:33 by Mikheyev’s first.  

Looking to keep pace with Atlantic Division rivals Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers, the Leafs also got a clutch performance from defenceman T.J. Brodie who in the second period scored his second on a wraparound for a commanding 3-0 lead.

Having a huge third period was Leafs forward William Nylander. Nylander, who late last month became the seventh Leaf to go on the COVID-19 protocol list, scored his 14th goal and fourth in this game on a third-period breakaway.  

Toronto, who fired 40 shots on goal, would get two more goals starting with Mikheyev 51 seconds late with his second on a power-play followed by Nylander who with less than three minutes remaining also scored his second to round out the offense in a 6-0 win over the Sens.

Once again starring for the Leafs was goaltender Jack Campbell who continued his strong season with a 20 save performance as he improved to 16-5 with a 1.86 GAA and four shutouts.

Looking to build on what is now a three-game winning streak, the Leafs will next see action on Wednesday, January 5th when Connor McDavid leads the Edmonton Oilers into Scotiabank Arena with puck drop scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.


         1st period

        14:06 SHG- Justin Holl (1)                     OTT-TOR

         David Kampf (6), T.J. Brodie (7)               0- 1


        14:33 SHG- Ilya Mikheyev (1)

        Alexander Kerfoot (13), T.J. Brodie (8)       0-2



        2nd period

        7:18 T.J. Brodie (2)                                  0-3

        Morgan Rielly (23), Alex Kerfoot (14) 



        3rd period

        13:41 William Nylander (14)                    0-4

        Travis Dermott (2), Alex Kerfoot (15)



      14:42 PPG- Ilya Mikheyev (2)                   0-5

       Ondrej Kase (8), Jason Spezza (5)           


      17:14   William Nylander (15)                  0- 6

       John Tavares (20), Rasmus Sandin (9)