Can you say Ron Tugnutt? New York goaltender Alexander Georgiev’s 55-save performance in the Rangers 4-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Madison Square Gardens Sunday was reminiscent of the former Quebec Nordiques game against the Boston Bruins in 1991.
On March 21, 1991, Tugnutt stopped 70 of 73 shots to earn a 3-3 tie against the Bruins, the second highest number of saves made in a regular season game in NHL history. While not close to a record, Georgiev’s robbery felt like one to the Leafs.
The old saying "they threw everything ‘but the kitchen sink at him’" could apply to the 23-year Russian who gave himself quite the birthday present shutting down high flying visitors, ending their 4-game win streak.
The Leafs leave New York while frustrated by a hot goalie but also produced 23-shots on the power play that has struggled to score but, if they maintain that pressure, things will turn.
The game was one sided in favour of Toronto although Rangers Mats Zuccarello, who had two assists, thought they dominated during 5-5 time. Maybe he should have a look at the game film because I don’t think the Zamboni driver flooded the visitors end both periods.
The Rangers couldn’t keep up with the speedy Leafs and resorted to stopping them anyway they could with late hits and ex Bruins Adam McQuaid continued his feuding ways with the Toronto side targeting the skilled forwards. To make matters worse he chipped in with the back breaker in the third.
The 29-shots by the Rangers were certainly not indicative of the quality that saw the home side with maybe a couple real opportunities. Garret Sparks still looked uncomfortable in the net and can’t make the big save the team so desperately needs when he is challenged and Sunday it cost the team. Kyle Dubas’s unwillingness or stubbornness to recognize the weakness in the backup could be costly going forward with every point so valuable.
The team now heads to Colorado, who will be a handful, and the third of six on the road, but if Toronto continues to play up-tempo the offense will follow.