TORONTO – Derek Stepan scored with 1:31 remaining and Derick Brassard added an empty-netter for his second goal of the game to lift the New York Rangers over the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 on Thursday night.
Stepan's one-time goal came 59 seconds after Colin Greening tied it with his first goal as a member of the Leafs.
Toronto's leading scorer Leo Komarov was ejected after elbowing Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh in the head during the first period. McDonagh returned from a concussion Wednesday night after missing four games and sat the rest of this one as a precaution, the team said.
Komarov got a match penalty for an illegal check to the head and could face supplemental discipline from the league.
Mats Zuccarello had a goal and two assists and J.T. Miller had three assists for the Rangers. Antti Raanta made 35 saves.
Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau also scored for the Leafs. Jonathan Bernier stopped 16 shots.
The Leafs controlled play, outshooting the Rangers 11-3 at one point in the first period and 37-20 overall while landing the game's first goal from Parenteau. Parenteau inadvertently redirected Viktor Loov's point shot with his left skate, and, after a video review, got his 15th goal this season.
Parenteau is a likely trade chip for the Leafs going into the Feb. 29 trade deadline and has seven points in seven games this month.
Bernier was given an opportunity to start and reclaim Toronto's crease with apparent no. 1 James Reimer struggling. The 27-year-old was sharp with limited action but still dropped his sixth straight start.
He gave up three goals on 19 shots. His last victory came on Jan. 6 when he had a 39-save shutout in Anaheim.
Bernier entered the night with the second-worst save percentage in the league this season (.899) and the worst mark at even-strength among goaltenders with at least 20 starts (.905).
New York has been among the hottest teams in the league of late. The club trails only Washington in the Metropolitan Division and had a six-game point streak (5-0-1) snapped at home against Chicago on Wednesday night.
The Rangers lead the Eastern Conference with 21 points since Jan. 16.
NOTES: Thursday marked the first game back in Toronto for the Leafs following a five-game trip. The club, which has played the fewest home games in the league this season, plays eight of its next 10 games at the Air Canada Centre. Next up is a game Saturday night against the Flyers. ... The Rangers host the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday night.