Henrik Lundqvist wasn't anywhere near his expected royal presence in the Rangers' home opener Sunday night.
The King looked like a vassal and was yanked after allowing five goals on 13 second-period shots in a sloppy 6-3 loss to the Maple Leafs at the Garden.
But the King's Court, which was badly out of sync again, didn't help in a second straight loss. "We haven't played up to our potential in any of these three games," Ryan McDonagh said. "We got away with one [in Thursday's 3-2 win] in St. Louis."
Cam Talbot, who stopped all 12 shots he faced, replaced Lundqvist with 4:47 left in the second period after David Clarkson gave the Leafs a 6-2 lead 48 seconds after Tyler Bozak scored.
"We have to start by being more disciplined," McDonagh said. "We gave their players chances early and they connect. For us to be successful, we need everybody going to do their role and knowing where everybody is on the ice."
Lundqvist stopped 10 of 11 shots in the first period, allowing only Cody Franson to fool him on a stoppable shot from the right circle, and Rick Nash tied the score at 1-1 at 17:22 with his fourth goal in three games. But in the second, the goals came fast and furious for the Leafs.
At 5:19, Lundqvist had little chance on Phil Kessel's snap shot on a power-play rebound off some skates. Then Nadem Kadri was left alone in the slot between J.T. Miller and McDonagh, and James Van Riemsdyk found him to make it 3-1 at 7:50.
The fourth goal, at 9:43, was clearly on Lundqvist. He appeared to squeeze Van Riemsdyk's shorthanded breakaway backhander between his pads, but it trickled though.
"I have to try to come up with the big saves," Lundqvist said. "Obviously, the fourth is a big one, on our power play. I thought I had it but it somehow bounced on my right knee. As a goalie, you have to try to step up and make a big save there, but I didn't. There were a couple of tough plays in front, but overall, I have to look at a few things and come back better."
Lee Stempniak's unassisted goal with the net off the mooring was upheld after review and made it 4-2 at 13:26 as the sellout crowd rose cheering. But that spark was extinguished 59 seconds later when Bozak's 35-footer went by Lundqvist untouched.
Clarkson's goal at 15:13 sent Lundqvist to the bench with the Rangers trailing 6-2. He stopped only 18 of 24 shots.
"We faced a goaltender that does not have many bad nights," Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "He's a pretty good goalie that did not have his best night."
The Rangers had tied the score late in the first when father-to-be Nash drove the net and redirected Martin St. Louis' pass from the right wing, beating Roman Polak to the left post.
Nash played despite the fact that his wife, Jessica, who is expecting the couple's first child, was about to go into labor. After the second period, Nash left the building to be with his wife.
Fans who also left at that point missed Derick Brassard's right-side slapper, which made it 6-3 with 5:38 remaining in the game.
The Rangers, who have allowed 11 goals (one an empty-netter) in the past two games, host the Islanders Tuesday night.
"We have one day to prepare," McDonagh said. "It will be a big test. They have good skill."