|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00 BRT, November 18, 2021
Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario Attendance: 19,029
Rangers, Maple Leafs intersect, four-game streaks on the line
The visiting New York Rangers and the Toronto Maple Leafs are two surging teams out to extend their winning streaks to five games Thursday night.
The Rangers defeated the visiting Montreal Canadiens 3-2 Tuesday night and have won six of their past nine games.
The Maple Leafs beat the visiting Nashville Predators 3-0 on Tuesday and have won nine of their past 10.
"We've definitely played a lot better hockey," Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. "Better D-zone, better offensive, the stuff we talked about when we were winning but playing bad, we've improved a lot of that.
"So I think the team is getting together, knowing each other pretty well now and it's just clicking. I thought we played a really good game (Tuesday)."
The Maple Leafs also are feeling good about themselves after goaltender Jack Campbell earned his third shutout of the season Tuesday against a Predators team that had won three straight.
"Jack has remained consistent and solid," Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. "The guys were not perfect (Tuesday), because we let guys in behind us, but Jack made saves. The posts were on his side (three times Nashville hit goal posts). He's just been consistent, reliable. Pucks are hitting him in the chest more frequently than not. He's hanging on to them. He's been consistent, he's been confident, and as a result our team confidence is real high as well."
Campbell made 24 saves in gaining his seventh career shutout in his 100th NHL game (91 starts). Right winger Ondrej Kase contributed a late-game blocked shot.
"I think the third period was as good as we've played," Keefe said.
"I thought that third period we really stepped up and shut the door," said Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, who had a goal and an assist.
The Maple Leafs are 8-2-1 at home. They will be playing the second game of three straight at home on Thursday.
"I think that's important," Keefe said. "The way the schedule has worked out, we've played more at home than we've played on the road. So being good here has been important. Obviously, the road games are going to start to pile up and we've got a really good (record) there, too."
The Rangers are 6-2-2 on the road, including a 2-1 overtime victory in Toronto on Oct. 18.
"I'm not just talking about the last couple of games but I think the whole team is playing great right now," said Rangers right winger Kaapo Kakko, who has goals in two consecutive games. "We're winning games and the whole team is looking better. We got a lot of chances. We're playing (well) in the O-zone."
The Rangers lost Sammy Blais for the rest of the season after the left winger suffered a torn ACL Sunday against the New Jersey Devils and will have knee surgery once the swelling subsides.
Julien Gauthier, who has a chance to play regularly in the absence of Blais, scored his first goal of the season early in the third period on Tuesday.
"You talk about somebody leaving your lineup because of injury and a guy steps in and plays really well, and that's what we need from our group," Gallant said. "You talk about an organization, you need more than 20 players and Goat (Gauthier) stepped up and played a great game."
--Field Level Media
Updated November 17, 2021