NHL Hockey Betting: Toronto Maple Leafs at New York Rangers

NHL Hockey Betting:  Toronto Maple Leafs at New York Rangers&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Only two NHL hockey games on the board for Sunday and we’ll take a look at the rebuilding Toronto Maple Leafs as they head into Madison Square Garden to face the New York Rangers. The Rangers are playing great hockey and are leading the Metropolitan Division with 28 points. That puts them into a tie for the best record in the Eastern Conference with the Montreal Canadiens and for the best record in the NHL with Montreal and the Dallas Stars. The Rangers just don’t lose these days–they’ve won 8 straight and 10 of their last 11 games. Toronto is also playing decent hockey and brings a three game winning streak into Madison Square Garden on Sunday. They’ve won only four of their last ten games, however, though their three wins during their current streak are all very solid–they beat Vancouver at home and won at Nashville and Dallas.

New York has the best scoring defense in the NHL though it’ll be a battle of backup goaltenders on Sunday. That means that Antti Ranta will get the start in a second of back to back games situation. Ranta hasn’t played like a backup this season with a 3-0-0 record and a 0.67 goals against average. The Rangers played at Ottawa last night and Henrik Lundqvist was superb as usual. It’s been a real luxury for the Rangers to have a goalie of Ranta’s caliber to turn to in the second of back to back situations and give Lundqvist a rest.

Toronto isn’t quite so fortunate. They’ve been getting decent play from starter James Reimer who started all three games in their recent run but backup Jonathan Bernier hasn’t had much success. Bernier is 0-6-1 with a 3.02 goals against average and a 0.899 save percentage. The Leafs don’t have an advantage in scheduling as they also played last night. The Leafs have split the last four games with the Rangers but two of those wins came in the first month last season–if you’ll recall, the Leafs began the 2014-2015 campaign playing decent hockey but then collapsed. Just can’t see any reason to fade the Rangers here with their current form.


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