Rangers defenceless against duo

MIKE GANTER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:01 AM ET

The New York Rangers knew what was coming but they had no answer for the Maple Leafs power play.

The No. 2 power play unit in the league coming into last night's game, the Leafs are now No. 1 in the NHL after two Bryan McCabe man-advantage markers spelled the difference in last night's 2-1 win.

How good is this unit?

For starters, they were up against the No. 2 penalty-kill unit in the league and scored twice in four opportunities.

Beyond that, Rangers goalie Kevin Weekes said Rangers assistant coach Perry Pearn had the exact play the Leafs scored on both times drawn up on the dressing room chalk board but even seeing it in advance, the Rangers couldn't defend against it.

"We can't fault our coaching staff because they pretty much diagramed those two plays in our pre-game preparation," Weekes said. "Unfortunately we weren't able to stop them."

With those two goals, the Leafs have scored on 31 of their 123 chances for a league-leading success rate of 25.2% with the man advantage.

ONE GOOD, ONE BAD

Pearn, the head coach of Canada's gold-medal winning team at the World Junior Championship in 1993, said he couldn't be overly upset about McCabe's first power-play goal because it came on a 5-on-3 Leafs advantage.

The game winner, which came with the Leafs enjoying just a one-man advantage, was a different story.

"The 5-on-4 goal, we got caught with our two forwards along the boards and kind of lost the battle," Pearn said. "There was no way of anyone getting over to McCabe. It was a good pass by Kaberle and McCabe shoots the puck pretty well."

Leafs rookie Alex Steen got plenty of credit as he outmuscled the much bigger Steve Rucchin along the boards and then pinned him to make sure the puck got back to Kaberle at the point.

A quick pass to a wide open McCabe at the other point for his eighth goal of the season put the Leafs up 2-1.

"It was a great play, it was the reason we scored on it,' Leafs head coach Pat Quinn said of Steen's play. "Those kind of plays make a big difference in a hockey game and that one was big for us."


Videos

Photos