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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, April 1st (All times eastern)

Toronto Maple Leafs (38-29-11) at New York Rangers (40-29-9), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A key matchup in the Eastern Conference playoff race is on tap tonight at Madison Square Garden, as the New York Rangers welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Big Apple.

The Rangers are currently holding onto the seventh seed in the East with 89 points on the year and are just one point in back of Tampa Bay for sixth place.

Toronto, while currently not a playoff team, is just one point behind Montreal for the conference's eighth and final postseason berth.

The Maple Leafs will try to build on Saturday's dramatic victory when they take the ice tonight. Toronto blew a three-goal lead against visiting Pittsburgh, but was still able to pull out a big overtime win. Tomas Kaberle scored two goals -- including the game-winner with 1:05 left in the extra session -- as Toronto posted the 5-4 decision over the Penguins.

Chad Kilger, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Bryan McCabe each scored for the Maple Leafs. Netminder Andrew Raycroft had a strong game with 32 saves as Toronto beat Pittsburgh for the first time this season (1-3).

Toronto hopes to cure its recent road woes tonight, as it attempts to snap a five-game skid as the visitor. Overall this year the Maple Leafs are 19-14-6 as the visiting team.

The Rangers are coming off Saturday's 6-4 triumph in Philadelphia. Jaromir Jagr had two goals and an assist to help the Blueshirts grab two important points at the Wachovia Center.

Michael Nylander had three assists and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 33 shots for the Rangers, who have won six of their last seven games.

New York has an average 19-15-5 record at home this year, but has been victorious in five of its last six tests at MSG.

The Maple Leafs have posted two wins in three meetings with the Rangers this year and have been victorious in seven of 11 and nine of the last 16 encounters overall.

04/01 11:04:56 ET

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