TORONTO — The Child Line and Igor Shesterkin couldn’t do all of it themselves.
The Maple Leafs’ Mitchell Marner scored 19 seconds into extra time after Timothy Liljegren had compelled the additional interval by scoring with 4:11 left in regulation handy the Rangers a 3-2 loss Wednesday night time at Scotiabank Enviornment, the place solely one of many customer’s strains confirmed as much as play. Maple Leafs goalie Ilya Samsonov was minutes away from incomes his first loss in regulation at house this season, however his crew pulled by way of on the final minute.
The Rangers’ Gerard Gallant is the form of coach who’s at all times going to trip his stars, and Wednesday night time, the Child Line of Filip Chytil, Alexis Lafreniere abd Kaapo Kakko was glowing. The opposite three models? Not a lot.
Chytil scored each of the Rangers’ targets in regulation, and the Czech middle and his linemates have been the best unit on the ice. At this level, the nickname of the Child Line is a bit deceptive, as a result of they’ve seemed like males amongst males for fairly a while.
With the Rangers trailing by a purpose after the primary interval, Chytil scored twice within the second interval to drag them forward. To knot the rating at 1-1 simply over two minutes into the second, Chytil despatched a fast shot off the faceoff — actually because the puck was dropped — to catch each his draw adversary David Kampf and Samsonov off guard.
His second purpose, nonetheless, wouldn’t have been potential with out his linemates.
Kakko first batted down Marner’s clearing try and preserve the puck within the offensive zone earlier than the Finnish wing acquired the puck again for the Rangers. After finessing it round Maple Leafs defenseman Justin Holl, Kakko fed Chytil, who clapped a one-timer previous Samsonov for the 2-1 rating at 6:31.
The truth that it got here towards Toronto’s prime line — Marner, Auston Matthews and Michael Bunting — was much more dazzling.
The Rangers’ younger trio has now totaled 4 targets within the two video games since they have been reunited. The Child Line posted two Monday night time towards the Panthers, with Lafreniere recording the primary off a scrappy play on the internet and Chytil scoring on an empty internet to additional pad the Rangers’ blowout win.
“We’ve performed quite a lot of video games, me, Fil and Kaapo,” Lafreniere mentioned Monday after he scored his first purpose since Dec. 7. “We all know the place we’re on the ice. I believe our sport down low of their zone might be our energy and we’ve got to get there and preserve the puck there and play our shifts there. That’s after we get our possibilities and ultimately targets, generally.”
Coincidentally, it was additionally the second sport in a row wherein the Child Line led the Rangers in even-strength ice time at 12:00, in accordance with Pure Stat Trick. It was clear they have been the one unit that was clicking and Gallant rightfully rewarded them.
Gallant agreed with the notion that he feels he can at all times return to the Child Line, which the coach did as soon as it grew to become clear the lineup was getting a bit stale. The query now’s: When will they earn sufficient of his belief to be persistently deployed as a top-six unit?
The Rangers did surrender a purpose inside the first 2 ½ minutes of the sport for the second time within the final three contests, when Julien Gauthier acquired caught too far over and Maple Leafs ahead Pontus Holmberg was sprung for a breakaway, which he buried along with his backhand previous Shesterkin to opening the scoring on the night time.
The purpose marked the eighth time this season the Rangers have allowed a purpose in 5 minutes or much less after puck drop, together with the 2 they gave as much as the Devils on Dec. 12 inside the first 4:46 of the sport.