TORONTO (AP) - Ron Wilson was happy to play the percentages against Scott Clemmensen in a shootout.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere allowed a goal to David Booth on a nice spin move to open the shootout, but then stopped Mike Santorelli and Chris Higgins. He added 30 saves in regulation in a game between Eastern Conference also-rans.
"We were going to win it or lose it with righties tonight," Wilson said. "If you have the (numbers) available, use them."
Phil Kessel took an elbowing penalty with 4:15 remaining, and 34 seconds later Cory Stillman tied the game at 3.
Kessel had a breakaway in the final seconds but couldn't beat Scott Clemmensen, extending his goal drought to eight games.
"I thought he was buzzing," teammate Clarke MacArthur said. "He had a lot of shots, they just didn't go in for him."
"You're never happy with one point," Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said, "but it was probably a fair outcome."
Grabovski put the Leafs up 3-2 at 6:16 of the second when he redirected Kaberle's point shot past Clemmensen on a power play.
The goal came just 1:22 after a high-sticking penalty by Jay Rosehill allowed the Panthers to tie it 4:54. Keaton Ellerby made a pretty cross-ice pass from the point to Michael Frolik at the side of the goal, and he centered it in front for Booth to tap in.
The Leafs led 2-1 after the first period.
Versteeg opened the scoring at 7:20 with a clever goal. Standing behind the net, he picked up the rebound of a failed pass out front and banked the puck in off the backside of Clemmensen, who was unsure of where the puck had gone.
The Panthers tied it up at 18:06 when Weiss took a Chris Higgins pass on a 3-on-1 rush and beat Giguere low to the stick side.
The Leafs reclaimed the lead just 23 seconds later when Clarke MacArthur dug the puck out of the corner and sent a pass to Kulemin, who wired a shot from the faceoff dot past Clemmensen's blocker.
Leafs forward Mike Brown left the game in the second period and didn't return. He took a heavy hit from Ellerby along the boards.
Notes: F Fredrik Sjostrom, D Brett Lebda and G Jonas Gustavsson were Toronto's scratches. ... Florida scratched Fs Shawn Matthias and Steve Bernier. ... Panthers D Mike Weaver had to apologize to teammate Marty Reasoner after whacking a puck into the forward's face after play had been stopped in the first period. Reasoner was no worse for the wear. ... Kessel's last goal was on Jan. 11 against San Jose. ... Panthers captain Bryan McCabe, a former Leaf, missed the game with a broken jaw. Fans still booed during pre-game introductions.
|Kris Versteeg (13) ASST: Colby Armstrong (7), Luke Schenn (9)|
1 - 0 TOR
|Stephen Weiss (14) ASST: Chris Higgins (10), Bryan Allen (8)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Nikolay Kulemin (17) ASST: Clarke MacArthur (26), Mikhail Grabovski (18)|
2 - 1 TOR
|PPG - David Booth (15) ASST: Cory Stillman (14), Keaton Ellerby (5)|
2 - 2 Tie
|PPG - Mikhail Grabovski (21) ASST: Tomas Kaberle (29), Nikolay Kulemin (18)|
3 - 2 TOR
|PPG - Cory Stillman (7) ASST: Dmitry Kulikov (13), Stephen Weiss (21)|
3 - 3 Tie
|1||K. Versteeg||D. Booth|
|2||T. Bozak||M. Santorelli|
|3||C. Armstrong||C. Higgins|
|Bryan Allen Tripping against Phil Kessel|
|Dennis Wideman Slashing against Clarke MacArthur|
|Jay Rosehill Hi-sticking against Keaton Ellerby|
|Jason Garrison Hi-sticking against Phil Kessel|
|Scott Timmins Hooking against Colby Armstrong|
|Tim Brent Holding against Cory Stillman|
|Joey Crabb Hooking against Radek Dvorak|
|Phil Kessel Elbowing against Rostislav Olesz|