New York still has work to do down the stretch
The Rangers’ recent power-play drought is well-documented. Nonetheless, special teams issues certainly haven’t curtailed New York’s charge up the standings.
Alain Vigneault’s club will keep trying to fine-tune things as it heads to the Great White North tonight. The Air Canada Centre serves as the backdrop for the Blueshirts’ 7:30 p.m. ET bout vs. Toronto. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the Maple Leafs odds of -105 to emerge victorious. Conversely, the visitors represent -115 underdogs.
On Tuesday, J.T. Miller & Co. went 0 for 4 with the man advantage in a 3-2 shootout loss to Montreal. The Rangers are just 1 for 18 in such situations over the past seven games. Interestingly, though, they’re 7-1-1 since Feb. 2.
Meanwhile, Toronto secured a much-needed 5-4 overtime triumph against Winnipeg roughly 36 hours ago. Mike Babcock’s group boasts a 15-10-4 mark at home this season. With 23 contests remaining on the schedule, the Leafs trail the first-place Canadiens by five points in the Atlantic Division.
These Eastern Conference combatants have split their two meetings in 2016-17, with each prevailing on the road. Considering New York’s 19-8-0 record away from Madison Square Garden, we’re inclined to roll with the out-of-town gang here, too. Look for Henrik Lundqvist to hold Auston Matthews and the rest of Toronto's talented young snipers in check.
THURSDAY NHL FREE PICK: RANGERS/MAPLE LEAFS UNDER 6 GOALS