NEW YORK (AP) – After his team allowed 56 shots on goal, Rangers coach David Quinn said the defense was pretty good.
He had Alexandar Georgiev to thank for that.
Georgiev has recorded 55 career saves to lead New York to the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 on Sunday night. Georgiev recorded the second best total in a regular season match in the history of the franchise. Mike Richter has the record with 59 on January 31, 1991.
"He played exceptionally well. It's getting better, "said Quinn on the occasion of his 23rd birthday.
"It was a special birthday," Georgiev said. "I tried not to focus on birthday wishes. I knew I had a big game in front of me. I am very happy that it ends like this. "
Mika Zibanejad, Jimmy Vesey and Adam McQuaid scored for the Rangers, who finished their five-game friendly 2-2-1.
"Sometimes you need a performance like this and it's imposed, gave us a chance," Zibanejad said about Georgiev.
Kevin Hayes added an empty net, and Mats Zuccarello and Chris Kreider each had two assists.
Kasperi Kapanen scored for the Maple Leafs, whose winning streak of four wins was broken.
"We played very well," Kapanen said. "Their goalkeeper made 55 saves. He played an extraordinary match. It's just hockey.
Toronto had 56 shots, a high in the season, forcing Georgiev to be at his best from the start. He is the seventh goalie in franchise history with 50 stops or more in a match. The previous goalkeeper was Henrik Lundqvist last year.
Ranger penalty killers also helped slow the Maple Leafs. Toronto had a 4-digit power play despite a 23-shot lead.
"In fact, I thought we had pretty well defended," Quinn said. "It's a scary team. I mean that they have a high-end talent. They can beat you one on one, but I thought we had done well to clean the net. They did not have many second chances.
McQuaid, who led 2-1 in the third period, gave Rangers insurance when he scored the goal at 11:59 for his second goal of the season.
The Rangers, who were cleared by Carolina on Friday, took a quick start against the Leafs.
Kreider sent a pass from behind the net to Zuccarello, who was alone in front. Toronto substitute goalkeeper Garret Sparks twice stopped Zuccarello, but the puck went to Zibanejad, who scored his 23rd of the season just 28 seconds into the game.
Given his early lead, Georgiev managed to make several stellar saves on the Maple Leafs power play a few minutes later.
"It was extremely important to keep the score at 1-0 at this stage," Georgiev said. "The boys did a great job. We eliminated that penalty and it was a little easier afterwards. "
The Maple Leafs kept up the pressure and tied the game midway through the period. Defender Tony DeAngelo intercepted his pass by Kapanen, who participated in a breakaway and scored his 16th of the season at 10:35.
Despite a bad pass, the Rangers took a 2-1 lead after eliminating another penalty. Ryan Strome entered the area and sent a pass to Kreider. Kreider sent a cross over ice pass to Vesey, who passed him over Sparks for his 12th of the season at 14:05.
"Goal scored by Vesey," said Quinn.
NOTES: Zuccarello has collected 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 11 games since January 12. … The Maple Leafs have activated striker Tyler Ennis from the injured reserve, but he has been wiped out. He has been away since late December with an ankle injury. … Defender Neal Pionk was back in training and forward Vinni Lettieri was hit by the Rangers.
Maple Leafs: Continue the six-game road trip Tuesday night in Colorado.
Rangers: Begin the four-game trip Tuesday night in Winnipeg.