Alexandar Georgiev celebrated his 23rd birthday with a career-high 55-save performance and the New York Rangers beat the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 on Sunday night.
Georgiev became the seventh Ranger to make at least 50 saves in a game since the NHL began tracking the statistic in 1955-56. He joined teammate Henrik Lundqvist (March 2, 2018) as the second goaltender to make at least 50 saves on his birthday and finished four shy of the team record for saves set by Mike Richter in 1999.
According to Hockey-Reference’s game finder, it was the seventh time in 32 regular-season games that the Rangers allowed at least 50 shots and the first time they allowed 50 shots in a home win since Jan. 13, 1993, against Washington.
Georgiev did some of his finest work during four Toronto power plays, when he made 23 saves. Seven were during the first man advantage early in the opening period when he made three point-blank stops on John Tavares.
Georgiev made 12 saves on Nazem Kadri and eight on Tavares in a game the Rangers never trailed.
Mika Zibanejad and Jimmy Vesey scored in the first period for the Rangers, who snapped a four-game losing streak to Toronto. Defenseman Adam McQuaid added insurance in the third period, and Kevin Hayes scored into empty net.
Kasperi Kapanen scored the lone goal for the Maple Leafs, who were unable to match a season high with their fifth straight win.
According to Hockey-Reference, it was the 41st regular-season game Toronto had at least 50 shots and the third time against the Rangers.
The Rangers scored 28 seconds in thanks to a strong effort by their top line. Chris Kreider forced a turnover by Morgan Rielly and dished to Mats Zuccarello, whose two point-blank shots were stopped, before Zibanejad smothered the rebound and lifted a wrist shot from the left circle into the net for his 11th goal in 10 games.
Toronto registered 12 straight shots after falling behind and tied the game when Kapanen intercepted a cross-ice pass by Tony DeAngelo near the blue line in the Rangers offensive zone. Upon gaining possession, he beat DeAngelo and scored his first goal in 10 games on a breakaway with a wrist shot over the right arm at the 10:35 mark.
New York took a 2-1 lead with 5:55 left in the first period when Kreider emerged from the penalty box and made a cross-ice pass to Vesey, who timed the puck over the right shoulder of Toronto goalie Garret Sparks.
Blackhawks 5, Red Wings 2
Dominik Kahun had two goals and an assist and host Chicago extended its winning streak to seven games by topping Detroit.
Dylan Strome supplied a goal and two assists for the Blackhawks, who have climbed to 23-24-9 to reinvigorate their playoff hopes. Patrick Kane stretched his point streak to 14 games with a third-period goal and added an assist. Jonathan Toews also had a goal and an assist. Cam Ward made 43 saves.
Christoffer Ehn and Gustav Nyquist scored for Detroit, which has dropped three straight. Jonathan Bernier made 31 saves.
Blues 5, Predators 4 (OT)
Vladimir Tarasenko recorded a hat trick, including the game-winner 16 seconds into overtime, as visiting St. Louis won its sixth straight game and its second over Nashville in 24 hours.
Alex Pietrangelo and Tyler Bozak also scored goals, and Ryan O’Reilly and Jay Bouwmeester each had two assists for the Blues, who broke a six-game losing streak in Nashville.
Viktor Arvidsson tallied a pair of goals, Roman Josi had a goal and an assist, and Filip Forsberg scored for Nashville. Ryan Ellis and Ryan Johansen each had two assists. Blues goalie Jake Allen got the nod in net for the first time since Jan. 17 and made 40 saves, while Juuse Saros stopped 24 shots for the Predators.
Jets 3, Sabres 1
Blake Wheeler scored the go-ahead goal at 16:05 of the third period as Winnipeg snapped a season-worst three-game losing streak by beating host Buffalo.
Andrew Copp also scored and Mark Scheifele added an empty-netter for the Jets, who salvaged the finale of their three-game trip. Winnipeg had been outscored 13-6 during its skid, including a 5-2 defeat Saturday at Ottawa.
Wheeler and Scheifele each had a goal and an assist and goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 35 saves.
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