Originally written on New York Rangers Center Ice Report  |  Last updated 10/18/14
Toronto- The New York Rangers fell short tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3.  Playing their fourth game in six nights, the Rangers ran into a fresher Toronto club that was able to take the first game in a home & home series.  After holding both the Penguins (twice) and the Hurricanes to two goals or fewer, the four goals allowed tonight was only the third time all season that the Rangers allowed 4+ in a game.   Some of those defensive lapses that had plagued the Rangers earlier in the season seemed to rear their ugly heads tonight.  On two of the four goals, Maple Leafs players were presented with golden opportunities one-on-one in front against with Lundqvist.  Each time Hank would make the initial save, but he could only do so much.  This is one part of the game that I thought the Rangers had done a good job in cleaning up over the past month or so; tonight we will chalk it up to fatigue as the blame for the mental lapses on the back end.   Not to get lost in this is the team’s overall willingness not to give up.  Trailing 3-1 heading into the third period, Rick Nash scored on one of his beautiful patented power moves to the net making it a one goal game with about 15 minutes remaining.  Still refusing to quit, Derek Stepan sniped one top cheddar tying the game at three apiece with 11 minutes to go.   The Leafs responded almost immediately with Kessel getting his own rebound just 39 seconds after the Rangers tied it, putting Toronto ahead 4-3 for good.  In the end, I think it was the fatigue that got to the Rangers tonight.  The Leafs looked quicker, and the Rangers made some sloppy mistakes in their defensive zone that cost them.  With the Rangers returning to MSG on Wednesday night, look for them to feed off the home crowd, tighten up their game, and get back on the winning track in the last game of this home & home series.     Follow us on Twitter: @NYRCenterIce   “Like” us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/NyrCenterIceBlog
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Giants dethrone Royals in Game 1 of World Series

Devils winger sends zinger about nasty facial cuts

Wife of Royals pitcher leaves World Series ticket as tip

Report: Chandler Jones to miss a month with hip injury

Lance Briggs left Bears' locker room to avoid the fighting

Could the Seahawks have gotten more for Percy Harvin?

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Favre delays Lambeau return due to Bart Starr’s health

Cowboys release Michael Sam from practice squad

Fan in critical condition after being beaten before Bears game

Ben Roethlisberger rips the media

Tim Tebow: Gators don't have offensive leadership, lack heart

WATCH: Arkansas St. RB scores improbable touchdown

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1 loss at World Series

Matt Flynn had a blast at Pearl Jam concert

Report: Back injury could end Nathan Horton's career

Report: Ray Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups E – H

PHOTO: Fans place Manning’s 509 football in Hall of Fame

Jets sign Jeremy Kerley to $16M 4-year extension

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Lego stadiums: turning a childhood hobby into a business

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge' and 'sizzle'

Blackhawks make leukemia patient's dream come true

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Nicklaus defends Jameis Winston

NFL players who could be traded by the deadline

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1

Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report

Cowboys release Michael Sam

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge'

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Ben Roethlisberger rips media

NFL Power Rankings Week 7

Pistorius sentenced to five years

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.