February 2, 2018 / 2:49 AM / 3 months ago

Holl helps haul Leafs past Rangers

Justin Holl became the sixth defenseman in NHL history to score a goal in each of his first two career games as the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs rolled to a 4-0 victory over the New York Rangers on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

After scoring the final goal Wednesday in Toronto’s 5-0 rout of the New York Islanders, Holl opened the scoring 8:42 into the Thursday game. He became the first defenseman to get goals in his first two games since the Anaheim Ducks’ Alex Grant in 2013-14.

Holl also became the sixth player in team history to score a goal in each of his first two games. The last had been Daniel Marois during the 1988-89 season.

James van Riemsdyk also scored in the first period for the Maple Leafs, who won their fourth straight. Patrick Marleau and Zach Hyman scored 2:07 apart early in the second.

Backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney made 25 saves and recorded his seventh career shutout.

New York’s Henrik Lundqvist was pulled after allowing four goals on 13 shots in the first 23:05. Backup Ondrej Pavelec stopped all 19 shots he faced.

Toronto took a 2-0 lead by scoring twice in a span of about seven minutes in the first period.

Holl made it 1-0 when he fired a wrist shot from near the left circle through heavy traffic and the puck bounced off the right post and in. Holl scored shortly after Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh committed a turnover near the neutral zone.

With 4:37 remaining in the opening period, the Maple Leafs caught the Rangers flat-footed and van Riemsdyk reached 20 goals for the fifth time in his career by putting a backhander under Lundqvist. The play started when Tyler Bozak made a nice drop pass to Connor Brown, who slid a pass through the slot to van Riemsdyk, who got past New York winger Mats Zuccarello.

The Leafs made it 3-0 early in the second when Marleau capitalized on a fortuitous bounce. New York defenseman Brady Skjei blocked Nazem Kadri’s shot, and the puck simply deflected to Marleau, whose 42-foot slap shot from the middle of the slot got through for his 525th career goal, tying Marian Hossa for 34th on the all-time list.

The Leafs extended it to 4-0 at 3:05 of the middle period when Hyman switched from his forehand to the backhand and netted his 10th goal.

—Field Level Media

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