Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner’s point streak reaches 23 games

NEW YORK — The Toronto Maple Leafs lost 3-1 to the New York Rangers on Thursday night, with Mitch Marner’s franchise record 23 games.

Marner’s streak was the longest in the Maple Leafs’ seven-season and 105-year history. He became only the 12th player in NHL history with a 23-game point streak.

Marner scored 11 goals and provided 21 assists in his run that began in San Jose on October 27.

“It’s a great achievement that your name is associated with some great legends,” said Marner. “This wouldn’t have been possible without the men in this room, which is why I love them so much.”

Jimmy Vesey scored two goals in Rangers’ fifth consecutive win, while Igor Shesterkin made 22 saves.

With 4:27 remaining in the second period, Vesey drew. He added an empty weeper with 1:13 left on the fifth of the season.

The Rangers have advanced to 6-1-1 in their last eight games after several weeks of inconsistency. They have three straight wins at Madison Square Garden after winning just four of their first 14 home games.

“We are in high spirits,” Vesey said. “We go into every game with a sense of victory,” he said.

Filip Chytil also scored for New York and Vincent Trocheck provided two assists.

Toronto was defeated by rule for the first time since November 11. He won 12-0-3 in his previous 15 games. The Maple Leafs also recorded one point in nine straight road games, including seven wins.

Toronto failed to score in three power play chances.

“Sometimes things don’t work out,” Marner said. “I think our power play is definitely something we can look at. It was pretty bad, it was really terrible. It wasn’t creating much for our team.”

Vesey, who won a job with the Rangers outside of training camp, slid down the right flank before taking a high-ankle shot, past Toronto goalie Matt Murray in second place.

Vesey, 29, played three seasons for the Rangers after spending four years at Harvard before slipping into four other teams, including Buffalo, Toronto and Vancouver. He played 68 games for the New Jersey Devils last season.

“I completed the cycle and at the end of the day, this is where I wanted to play from the beginning,” said Vesey of returning to Rangers.

Michael Bunting scores Toronto’s only goal. Murray made 18 stops.

Shesterkin has been up 5-0-1 in his last six starts and 15-4-4 overall this season. At 14:29 of the third, he denied Marner and eventually stopped Marner’s scoring streak.

Chytil opened the score for New York and scored his seventh goal with a 3:52 power play into the game. He fired a high shot past Murray.

Bunting responded with a seventh in 14:06 with a rebound that beat Shesterkin. Bunting extended his points streak to 10 games.

The brisk pace continued in the second as both goalkeepers made sterling saves.

Murray denied Artemi Panarin’s high point shot seven minutes later. Shesterkin stopped Auston Matthews’ close-range shot in the middle of the period.

Toronto had a flurry of luck during a late-second one-man advantage, but was unable to clear Shesterkin.

“We didn’t do enough,” said Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe. “I thought we were excellent defensively.”

Shesterkin also stopped Toronto’s Zach Aston-Reese with five minutes to third, “Igor! Igor!” He smothered the Garden crowd and then a close-up shot from Toronto captain John Tavares at 12:16 in the third quarter.

“We did a good job bending the ice in key parts of the game. We need to find a way to get the puck into the net a little bit more and to fight a little bit more,” Tavares said.

Toronto was coming home with three wins, beating Anaheim 7-0 on Tuesday, after victories over Calgary and Los Angeles.

After a six-game winning streak, Rangers moved to St. Louis, then beat Vegas and Colorado away before beating the New Jersey Devils in overtime on Monday.

“Good effort by our group,” said Rangers coach Gerard Gallant. “The whole group played really well. It’s a team effort from start to finish. Everyone agreed.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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