The Rangers captain moved in on Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson
and wired a shot top corner in the third round to clinch it.
Brad Richards also scored for New York in the shootout. Tim Connolly
replied for Toronto.
Marian Gaborik, with two goals, and Brandon Dubinsky scored in regulation for New York (47-21-7). Henrik Lundqvist made 22 stops for the Rangers, while Brad Richards added two assists. Joey Crabb
, with a goal and an assist, Cody Franson
and Connolly replied for the Leafs (33-34-9), who got 30 saves from Gustavsson.
Toronto has not won at Air Canada Centre since a 6-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Feb. 6, a stretch of nine games.
Both teams had chances to end it in overtime, including a shot from Toronto's Phil Kessel
on a partial break that just went wide. Nazem Kadri
was also stopped point blank by Lundqvist.
Gaborik scored his second of the night and 37th of the season at 4:19 of the third on a beautiful saucer pass from Richards. Gaborik took the feed in the slot and beat Gustavsson between the legs.
The Rangers' lead didn't last long as Connolly followed up a shot by Crabb to fire his 12th of the season past Lundqvist just 19 seconds later.
New York, which is in a battle for top spot in the Eastern Conference with Pittsburgh, then took three consecutive minor penalties but Toronto couldn't muster much of anything on the power plays.
The Leafs' commitment to defence under new coach Randy Caryle produced just 16 shots through two periods.
Crabb gave Toronto a 2-1 lead at 6:53 of the second after the Rangers failed to clear the zone. Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf
kept the puck in at the point and it found its way to Crabb in front, whose shot just slid over the line behind Lunqvist.
Dubinsky tied it at 15:29 off a faceoff where the Leafs got outmuscled in front of their own net. Dubinsky fished the puck out of a maze of bodies and buried it behind Gustavsson for his ninth of the season.
A first period that saw just 13 combined shots still produced plenty of action.
Toronto opened the scoring at 9:11 after Gustavsson made a big stop on a backhand by Callahan and Kessel and Franson broke back the other way on a 2-on-1. Almost everyone in the building thought Kessel would shoot, but the Leafs sniper gave a head fake before sliding a backhand pass across to Franson for his fifth of the season.
Gaborik tied it on a shot off a faceoff in the Toronto zone that deflected off Phaneuf's stick and past Gustavsson at 12:19.
Toronto had a great chance to take a 2-1 lead to the break when Kadri jumped on a turnover by New York defenceman Mark Staal. The recent American Hockey League callup moved in alone on Lundqvist but couldn't slide the puck past the Rangers netminder.
Notes: New York started a four-game road trip after a going 4-3-0 on a seven-game homestand. ... Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello fractured his left wrist in the first period of Friday's loss to Buffalo and is out indefinitely. ... Also scratched for New York were D Jeff Woywitka, D Anton Stralman, D Steve Eminger (undisclosed injury), C Chad Kolarik and LW John Scott. ... Sitting out for the Leafs were D Mike Komisarek
, LW Clarke MacArthur
(upper body), RW Mike Brown
(thigh bruise), RW Joffrey Lupul
(separated shoulder), RW Matt Frattin
(lower body) and LW Nikolai Kulemin
(broken finger). ... Toronto forward Ryan Hamilton
of nearby Oshawa, Ont., played his first home game for the Leafs. The captain of the AHL's Toronto Marlies made his NHL debut against New Jersey on Friday. ... The Leafs wore their heritage jerseys. ... Announced attendance was 19,507.