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game recap

Maple Leafs give up lead but rally to defeat Rangers

Score three times in third period for second straight win

by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Tyler Bozak scored the tiebreaking goal at 7:17 of the third period, and the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the New York Rangers 8-5 at Air Canada Centre on Saturday.

The Rangers challenged that the goal was offside but it was upheld upon review, and New York received a two-minute penalty. Leo Komarov scored on the power play to give Toronto a 7-5 lead at 9:52. Nazem Kadri made it 8-5 with a power-play goal at 18:30.

The Maple Leafs (2-0-0) built a 5-1 first-period lead but the Rangers (0-2-0) scored three times in the second to tie it 5-5.

 

[WATCH: All Rangers vs. Maple Leafs highlights]

 

"I thought we had a much better third. The first period, structurally we played good, really worked and we had the puck," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "In the second period, I don't know what we were doing; we got away from our game.

"That's the way sports should be: When you don't do things right, you shouldn't have success, and we didn't. The way I look at it, we've played two home openers now, found a way to survive in both of them and win the game."

New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist allowed five goals on 17 shots in the first period. He was replaced by Ondrej Pavelec to start the second period, and Pavelec allowed three goals on 24 shots.

"We played pond hockey out there in the first and got behind the eight ball," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said.

Kevin Shattenkirk scored his first goal with the Rangers on the power play with 23 seconds left in the first period to make it 5-2. Mika Zibanejad made it 5-3 at 7:43 of the second on the power play when he shot past goalie Frederik Andersen, who was screened by Chris Kreider. Marc Staal deflected a shot from the slot to make it 5-4 at 12:14. 

Video: NYR@TOR: Kadri dances around defenseman for PPG

Mats Zuccarello tied it 5-5 at 14:06. The goal was upheld after it was reviewed to determine whether Zuccarello deflected the puck with a high stick.

"We weren't close to where we needed to be, and it doesn't matter if it was against this team or any other team, we would have been down the same amount of goals," Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh said. "We did regroup in the second and played our best period yet to date, so now we've proved to ourselves the way we can play and need to play to give ourselves a chance. It is disappointing; we're saying the right things in here, but if you don't bring your energy and move your feet and play quick when you don't have the puck, you're going to get killed."

Dominic Moore put Toronto ahead 1-0 at 2:30 of the first period, but J.T. Miller scored 1:12 later to tie it 1-1. 

Zach Hyman made it 2-1 at 5:34 with his first of two goals in the period. Jake Gardiner scored a power-play goal at 11:07 to make it 3-1, and Nikita Zaitsev put a point shot past Lundqvist's blocker at 13:59 for a 4-1 lead. Hyman made it 5-1 at 17:19.

"It was a pretty crazy game, 8-5," Hyman said. "You don't want to be in a game like that, you want to have it low-scoring and play well defensively, but offensively things were clicking for us. It's good to get another win for sure."

Andersen made 30 saves to win his second consecutive game to start the season.

Video: NYR@TOR: Shattenkirk goes top shelf on power play

 

Goal of the game

Bozak was left uncovered in the slot, took a pass from defenseman Jake Gardiner behind the net and flipped the puck over Pavelec's glove to break the 5-5 tie.

Video: NYR@TOR: Bozak buries Gardiner's smooth dish

 

Save of the game

Andersen slid across to make a toe save 24 seconds into the third period, after Rangers forward Rick Nash set up Miller with a cross-crease pass.

 

Highlight of the game

Hyman split the Rangers defense but was his shot was stopped by Lundqvist. New York defenseman Tony DeAngelo got the puck behind the net but turned it over in the slot. Hyman skated in alone on Lundqvist and fooled him with a deke before sliding it past his glove.

Video: NYR@TOR: Hyman capitalizes on turnover for nifty goal

 

They said it

"The first period we were all over them, didn't give them any space, and kind of got away from that. If you're winning a game, there's a tendency to think you can just play run-and-gun hockey, and that's not the case. We're going to have to kind of regroup and know that we can't do that again." -- Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner

 

Video: NYR@TOR: Gardiner finishes blocker side for PPG

 

"The first period was just embarrassing. Obviously not what you're looking for in the second game. I need to be better. It was a period where they were just all over us. There was no structure really in our own end, and I was not able to come up with enough saves." -- Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist

 

Need to know

Zuccarello (goal, three assists) had his first four-point game in the NHL. He is the first Rangers player with five points in the first two games of a season since Bernie Nicholls in 1990-91. … Ron Hainsey assisted on Zaitsev's goal for his first point with the Maple Leafs. ... Moore went 9-for-9 on face-offs.

 

What's next

Rangers: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN1, MSG+, RDS, NHL.TV)

Maple Leafs: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN4, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Seven Leafs score in 8-5 victory against the Rangers

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