The Toronto Maple Leafs jumped out to a 3-1 lead after the first period on Wednesday night before the New York Rangers stormed back for a 6-3 victory.

Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe called out his team's effort post-game, specifically targeting their play in the defensive zone.

"Today, I just thought we played soft, and we made poor decisions defensively," Keefe said. "We couldn't sort anything out. It was just far different. Each game has been different, so it's hard to talk about patterns other than the obvious that we've been giving up leads. I just thought we got exposed today for being a team that was just soft, soft and purposeless, and just kind of playing the game and hoping it was going to work out.

"I didn't think we had anybody that played well tonight. Coaches didn't coach well tonight. So, today is a much different game than we've played in the others where we've given up leads and such. I just didn't think we had nearly enough urgency or purpose."

Blown leads have become a trend of late for the Maple Leafs, who had seen third-period leads evaporate in three of their previous four games ahead of Wednesday's loss. 

“We’ve had a lot of really good starts,” Keefe added. “Obviously it’s been the finish or the second half of games that haven’t gone well. ... Maybe a fast start was working against us. We thought it would be easy the rest of the way. We paid for it.”

The loss dropped Toronto's Jack Campbell to 19-6-3 on the season with a .927 save percentage and a 2.24 goals-against average. The 30-year-old has allowed 18 goals over his previous four starts dating back to Jan. 8. 

The Maple Leafs will face the New York Islanders on Saturday in the final game of their current six-stop road trip.

Toronto sits third in the Atlantic Division, eight points back of the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning with four games in hand.