TORONTO — With James Reimer scuffling recently, the Maple Leafs will turn to Jonathan Bernier when they host the New York Rangers on Thursday.
Reimer gave up seven goals in a 7-2 loss to Chicago over the weekend and has allowed 16 goals in his last four starts. The NHL's save percentage leader as recently as last month, Reimer has tumbled to 14th with a still-respectable .920 mark.
Bernier, meanwhile, will search for his first win in more than a month in his 200th career NHL game.
Relegated to backup duty for much of the season, Bernier has lost five straight starts. He hasn't won since Jan. 6 when he shut out the Anaheim Ducks with a 39-save performance.
The 27-year-old has the second-worst save percentage (.899) among qualifying goaltenders this season.
He and the Leafs will try to slow a Rangers squad that lost in regulation for the first time in more than two weeks on Wednesday night. New York was downed 5-3 by the Chicago Blackhawks at Madison Square Garden.
An unrestricted free agent at season's end, Reimer's recent stumbles coincide with an increasingly banged-up Toronto lineup.
The Leafs are missing Tyler Bozak, Shawn Matthias, Joffrey Lupul, James van Riemsdyk, Milan Michalek, and Josh Leivo due to injury.
Matt Hunwick is questionable to play against the Rangers because of an undisclosed ailment. He was forced to depart practice on Wednesday morning. Twenty-three-year-old Viktor Loov was recalled from the Toronto Marlies as a precaution.
Loov has yet to play an NHL game.
Toronto, which has the fewest home wins this season, will play 18 of its final 27 games at the Air Canada Centre.
Jonas Siegel, The Canadian Press