Kessel, Leafs edge RangersApr 9, 2013 - 5:40 AM
Phil Kessel supplied two goals for the Maple Leafs, including the tiebreaking tally 39 seconds after New York had made it 3-3 in the third period.
"I thought we played pretty well tonight as a line," said Kessel. "We caught a couple of bounces and that always helps. This was a big win for us tonight."
The Rangers frantically tried to battle back again, but they came up short.
James van Riemsdyk and Ryan O'Byrne also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have won two straight games and five of six overall. James Reimer made 31 saves.
With 48 points, Toronto owns a four-point edge over Ottawa for the Eastern Conference's fifth seed.
Rick Nash lit the lamp twice and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 24 shots for New York, which had gone 3-0-1 in its previous four games.
"I think I need to make some better reads and just get a little faster," said Lundqvist. "I'm not going to lie, you try to work it through here but I felt a little slow tonight."
The Rangers (42 points) remained tied with the Islanders for the last two playoff spots.
Nash cut to the middle and beat Reimer 2:50 into the third period, trimming New York's deficit to 3-2. Derek Stepan pulled the Rangers even at the nine- minute mark, ripping a shot from the left wing past Reimer one second after a Toronto power play expired.
Kessel, however, collected a feed from Tyler Bozak and slipped home his own rebound to quickly put the Maple Leafs back in front.
A persistent van Riemsdyk opened the scoring at the 11:03 mark of the first period as he took a handful of whacks before pushing the puck past Lundqvist.
O'Byrne, making his Toronto debut following last week's trade from Colorado, joined the rush and scored off a cross-ice feed from Nazem Kadri at 11:28 of the second period.
The Rangers got on the board a little over three minutes later when Nash bulled his way to the Toronto net and put the puck behind Reimer.
Kessel fired a shot through a van Riemsdyk screen and past Lundqvist for a power-play goal with 42 seconds remaining in the middle frame.
Lundqvist had allowed two goals or fewer in each of his previous 10 starts ... The Rangers failed to record at least a point against Toronto for just the third time in their last 14 meetings (9-3-2) ... The Maple Leafs had lost four straight at home to the Rangers ... These teams will meet again Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
- NEW YORK: 3
Apr 8 9:41 PM
- Phil Kessel wrist shot on Henrik Lundqvist.
Rangers 3, Maple Leafs 4 3rd - 10:21Apr 8 9:19 PM
- NY Rangers Goal - Derek Stepan (14), at 9:00.
Rangers 3, Maple Leafs 3 3rd - 11:00Apr 8 9:17 PM
- NY Rangers Goal - Rick Nash, from John Moore at 2:50.
Rangers 2, Maple Leafs 3 3rd - 17:10Apr 8 9:03 PM
- NEW YORK: 1
End of 2nd
Apr 8 8:42 PM
- Toronto Power-Play Goal - Phil Kessel (11), from Dion Phaneuf and Cody Franson at 19:18.
Rangers 1, Maple Leafs 3 2nd - 0:42Apr 8 8:40 PM
- NY Rangers Goal - Rick Nash (16), from Derek Stepan at 14:55.
Rangers 1, Maple Leafs 2 2nd - 5:05Apr 8 8:29 PM
- Toronto Goal - Ryan O'Byrne (2), from Nazem Kadri at 11:28.
Rangers 0, Maple Leafs 2 2nd - 8:32Apr 8 8:23 PM
- NEW YORK: 0
End of 1st
Apr 8 7:45 PM
- Mats Zuccarello backhand shot is wide.
Rangers 0, Maple Leafs 1 1st - 4:17Apr 8 7:38 PM
- James van Riemsdyk wrist shot on Henrik Lundqvist.
Rangers 0, Maple Leafs 0 1st - 8:59Apr 8 7:37 PM
- Toronto Goal - James van Riemsdyk (16), at 11:04.
Rangers 0, Maple Leafs 1 1st - 8:56Apr 8 7:30 PM
- NEW YORK: 0
1st Period - 20:00
Apr 8 7:09 PM
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- New York Rangers sign KHL forward Pavel Bucknevich May 13
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- World championship offers audition for World Cup, draft May 5
- Rangers agree to deal with backup goalie Antti Raanta May 2
- Jagr, Dupuis, Zuccarello are Masterton finalists May 1
- Last-place Leafs win NHL draft lottery; Jets jump to 2nd Apr 30
- Winds of change coming to Rangers after early playoff exit Apr 26
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- At ease in Pittsburgh, Kessel making impact for Penguins Apr 25