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Bernier and Maple Leafs take on Rangers on TSN Radio 1050

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The Sports Network
12/23/2013 12:22:03 PM
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The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to go into the NHL's holiday break on a winning note when they take on the New York Rangers in an Original Six matchup at Madison Square Garden.

You can listen to the game live on TSN Radio 1050 or on tsn.ca/toronto at 7pm et.

The Maple Leafs lost for the third time in four games their last time out, dropping Saturday's shootout decision against the visiting Detroit Red Wings. The 5-4 loss was also the sixth setback in eight games for Toronto, which went 1-1-1 during its recent three-game homestand.

Toronto overcame a 3-1 deficit after 20 minutes to grab a 4-3 lead in the third period before Detroit's Tomas Tatar potted the equalizer with 6:16 remaining in regulation.

"Obviously, we didn't have a very good first period," said Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle. "We score the first goal and then we basically stood around for the rest of the period and watched them do their thing."

Daniel Alfredsson and Pavel Datsyuk both scored during the shootout to lift the Red Wings to victory in a preview of the 2014 Winter Classic. Former Maple Leaf Jonas Gustavsson did not allow a goal in the shootout after making 19 saves through overtime for Detroit. Joffrey Lupul recorded a goal and an assist in the loss, while Dion Phaneuf, Cody Franson and David Clarkson also scored for the Maple Leafs.

Toronto goaltender Jonathan Bernier made 25 saves in relief of James Reimer, who was pulled after the first period. Bernier is expected to start in goal against the Rangers tonight. Also, Paul Ranger will draw back in on defence replacing John-Michael Liles, while Colton Orr returns to the lineup in favour of Troy Bodie.

The Maple Leafs have lost nine of their last 10 road games heading into this evening's game. Overall, Toronto is just 6-8-3 as the visiting club this season.

The Rangers have a 2-4-2 record on a nine-game homestand, but the Blueshirts posted one of those two wins in Sunday's 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild. Carl Hagelin broke a tie in the second period and New York cruised to the victory from there.

"We rolled four lines, each time playing very smart and simple," said New York head coach Alain Vigneault. "They were doing great things with the puck."

Cam Talbot, who starts in goal for the Rangers tonight, made 24 saves for the Rangers in his first start since Dec. 2. Talbot is now 7-2-0 with a 1.67 goals against average on the season.

The Rangers, who are just 7-10-2 on home ice this season, will play their next five games on the road after completing the homestand tonight.

The Rangers have won two straight home meetings against Toronto, but the clubs have split the last six encounters at MSG. New York has taken four of five overall from the Leafs, who are facing the Rangers for the first time this season.

Jonathan Bernier (Photo: Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Graig Abel/NHLI via Getty Images)
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