The Maple Leafs departed soon after last night's game for New York, where they will meet the Rangers tonight in Manhattan.
Coach Paul Maurice was not about to make plans to deviate from the norm in preparation for the game, even though it could not be more crucial.
"I think you really have to be careful about doing things you would not normally do," Maurice said following the Leafs' 5-4 overtime triumph against the Pittsburgh Penguins. "You want to add a little something to the day, but you don't want to make it unusual to the point (the players) are saying, 'What the hell is he doing?'" You want to change some things up, but our (pre-game) meeting will be a quiet one."
Maurice knows what to expect from the Rangers, who are two points ahead of the Leafs in the Eastern Conference standings.
"It's going to be a tough one," Maurice said. "It's going to be a tight game. We're going to have to fight our way through it."
HARD TO SWALLOW
Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury allowed just one goal last night, but it was the only one that mattered. After Jocelyn Thibault allowed four goals on 20 shots and was pulled at 11:49 of the second period, Fleury was sharp, making 16 saves. But a soft slapshot by Tomas Kaberle -- the Leafs defenceman beat Thibault on a similar shot for Toronto's third goal at 3:08 of the second -- eluded Fleury at 3:55 of overtime.
"It was not a very hard shot, but I just did not see it," Fleury said. "I went down, but it was already past me."
After Kaberle scored, Leafs winger Darcy Tucker made a point of skating back to the Toronto bench and swatting Maurice across the butt with his stick.
"I was having a little issue with adrenaline at that point and I did not feel a whole lot," Maurice said with a laugh.
NOT A GOOD NIGHT
The Leafs line of Yanic Perreault between John Pohl and Bates Battaglia did not wind up in Maurice's good books.
"I did not care for Perreault, Battaglia and Pohl," Maurice said. "They were not as good as they needed to be. They had a great chance or two early on and after that I thought they struggled."