|NYR||0||2||0||0||1 (2 - 2)||3|
|TOR||0||2||0||0||0 (0 - 2)||2|
Winning at home doesn't seem to be much of a problem for the New York Rangers this season. Notching two points away from Madison Square Garden is.
Losers of six straight on the road to start 2007-08, the Rangers start a four-game trip on Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre when they meet the Toronto Maple Leafs.
New York (8-7-1) has been shut out three times during an 0-5-1 road skid, its worst to open a season since the 1943-44 team lost 10 straight. That team finished 6-39-5 - the worst record in franchise history.
Following this contest, the Rangers will play at Atlantic Division rivals New Jersey, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
An inability to score has helped cause the woes on the road, where New York has managed only six total goals.
Jaromir Jagr, the Rangers' leading scorer each of the last two seasons, has team highs of 12 assists and 15 points but has yet to score a road goal. Chris Drury and Scott Gomez - New York's high-priced free-agent acquisitions during the offseason - have combined for two goals and three assists away from MSG.
Playing at home on Thursday, Gomez and Sean Avery each tallied a goal and assist and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 26 shots in a 4-2 win over the Penguins.
Lundqvist has started every game in net this season for New York. While he's 8-2-0 with 1.30 goals-against average at home - which included a defeat to the Maple Leafs on Oct. 27 - Lundqvist is 0-5-1 with a 2.16 GAA on the road.
"The way Henrik is going I think that is what you look at," Gomez told the Rangers' official Web site. "We just got off to a slow start, but I think we can score with the best of them. As long as we take care of our defensive zone every night we will be a tough team to beat."
Lundqvist is 1-1-0 with a 6.86 GAA in two career starts in Toronto. On Dec. 16, he allowed a career-worst eight goals in the first two periods of a 9-2 defeat.
While the Rangers haven't played well on the road, the Maple Leafs have fared poorly on home ice. They've lost three in a row there, and have given up at least five goals in each of their last five losses.
But the Maple Leafs (7-7-3) are coming off a 3-0 win over Buffalo on Friday to salvage a split of a four-game road trip. Andrew Raycroft made 30 saves for his sixth career shutout and Mats Sundin had a goal and assist.
"Andrew had a great game in net, but we played a great game defensively," Sundin said. "We've scored enough goals but for some reason we've struggled with our defensive play."
Raycroft, though, has played poorly in his last two home games. On Oct. 20, he gave up five goals in 6-4 loss to Chicago, and he was pulled from a start versus Washington nine days later when he yielded four goals in the first 13:56 of a 7-1 defeat.
During his first season with the Maple Leafs in 2006-07, Raycroft was 1-0-1 with a 2.90 GAA at home versus the Rangers.
Sundin, the Leafs' all-time leading scorer, has tallied a point in all nine home games this season, totaling five goals and 12 assists.
Toronto is 3-4-2 overall at the Air Canada Centre this season.