Leafs spoil St. Louis' debut, edge Rangers in OT
New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Tyler Bozak scored the game-winner with 3:09 left in overtime, as the Toronto Maple Leafs spoiled Martin St. Louis' New York Rangers debut with a 3-2 win on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.
Bozak, who opened the scoring with a successful penalty shot in the second, accepted a blind backhand feed from Phil Kessel behind the net and elevated the disc over Henrik Lundqvist from the doorstep to send the Leafs to their first victory since the Olympic break.
Nazem Kadri netted Toronto's other goal, while Jonathan Bernier registered 35 saves for the Leafs, who leapfrogged the idle Tampa Bay Lightning for third place in the Atlantic Division.
"It doesn't feel so good right now, because you're frustrated with how it went, but tomorrow in the standings it will show two points and then we move on," Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle said of his team giving up a two-goal lead only to win in overtime.
Though they were idle on the schedule, the Lightning played a major role in Wednesday's trade deadline, sending St. Louis, their leading scorer, to New York in exchange for Rangers captain Ryan Callahan, a first-round draft pick in 2015 and a conditional second-round choice in 2014.
St. Louis finished with three shots in just over 20 minutes of ice time in his Broadway debut, while Ryan McDonagh and Dominic Moore each registered a short-handed goal for New York, which has lost three straight games.
"It was a tough day for my family, but we are all excited to be here," St. Louis said of being traded to New York. "This is an opportunity for me to play with a big market team, and it's going to be a challenge obviously."
Lundqvist allowed all three goals on 29 shots in defeat.
The Leafs led 2-0 following Kadri's rebound goal two minutes into the third and had a prime opportunity to extend the margin after New York's Brad Richards went off for tripping at 5:18.
Despite being down a man, the Rangers found the back of the net twice in a 1:19-span to even the score.
McDonagh was credited with the first marker just 16 seconds into the penalty kill when his rebound attempt from the left circle ricocheted off a defender's stick, then deflected off Dion Phaneuf's leg in front before finding its way across the goal line to make it 2-1.
Just over a minute later, Moore intercepted a pass in the high slot in his own end and pushed the puck ahead to Derek Stepan to start a 2-on-1 rush. Stepan carried the disc into the Toronto zone before dishing back to Moore, who rifled a wrister from the slot that sailed over Bernier's blocker to tie the tilt at 6:53.
"I think tonight was a gutsy comeback," St. Louis added. "Unfortunately, we didn't get the extra point, but I was happy to come here and just break the ice, I guess."
Following a scoreless first frame, Bozak put the Leafs on the board 1:44 into the second after a slick feed from James van Riemsdyk found Bozak behind the defense.
With no other option, New York's John Moore was forced to take down Bozak, resulting in a penalty shot that the Toronto forward converted with a wrister from the slot through Lundqvist's five-hole to make it 1-0 at 1:44.
St. Louis had 29 goals and 32 assists in 62 games for the Lightning this season after leading the league with 60 points in the shortened 48-game season in 2013 ... Callahan had 11 goals and 14 assists for 24 points in 45 games with New York this season ... Also Wednesday, the Rangers acquired defenseman Raphael Diaz from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a future draft choice ... Toronto improved to 12-12-7 on the road this season, while New York dropped to 15-15-4 at home ... Toronto went 0-for-2 on the power play.