Maple Leafs hold off Rangers

Leafs defenceman John-Michael Liles gets Rangers' Carl Hagelin off the puck during Monday's game at...

Leafs defenceman John-Michael Liles gets Rangers' Carl Hagelin off the puck during Monday's game at the ACC. (STAN BEHAL/QMI Agency)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:52 AM ET

TORONTO - In case you thought Phil Kessel had forgotten how to score during his assist-a-palooza, his amnesia has passed.

Kessel supplied two goals, his first multi-goal effort at home this year, to rescue a 4-3 win over the Rangers on a Monday night that almost got away. A 3-1 lead which Kessel helped to build with a last-minute second-period power-play goal, was on the rocks after the second of two beautiful Rick Nash goals and one by Derek Stepan at the end of a Toronto advantage.

But it took just 39 seconds for Kessel’s line, overlooked in the recent Joffrey Lupul-Nazem Kadri success, to retain the lead with a blitzkrieg shift and help from James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak. Van Riemsdyk was a force on his own with a goal and assist, as the Leafs scramble to replace the injured Lupul’s offence.

It added up to the Leafs’ fifth win in six games and an eight-point lead on the non-playoff field in the Eastern Conference.



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