Marner scores 19 seconds into OT as Maple Leafs beat Rangers for 4th win in 5 games
Mitch Marner scored 19 seconds into overtime as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the visiting New York Rangers 3-2 on Wednesday night.
Pontus Holmberg and Timothy Liljegren had the goals in regulation for Toronto (30-11-8). Ilya Samsonov stopped 26 shots.
Marner wove his way past all three Rangers skaters in the three-on-three extra period after Toronto won the faceoff at centre before tucking his 18th goal of the season past an outstretched Shesterkin.
WATCH | Marner lifts Leafs over Rangers in overtime:
Down 1-0 after the first, Chytil got New York even at 2:10 of the second on a sneaky faceoff play.
The Rangers centre squared off against David Kampf on the offensive zone draw, but instead of trying to win the draw back to a teammate, he fired the puck toward a surprised Samsonov with a shot through the pads for his 14th.
Chytil then gave the visitors — who beat Toronto 3-1 at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 15 — their first lead at 6:31 when Kaapo Kakko fired a slick pass to his linemate for him to snap home his second of the night.
New York had a terrific chance to go up 3-1 on a power play early in the third, but Chris Kreider flubbed a sure goal at the side of Samsonov’s net.
Toronto started to push as the period wore on and finally beat Shesterkin, who won last season’s Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top netminder, when Liljegren scored his fourth with 4:11 left in regulation on a broken play.
TIMOTHY LILJEGREN!!! <a href=”https://t.co/BeANT1Zt93″>pic.twitter.com/BeANT1Zt93</a>
Tavares then rattled the crossbar in the dying seconds for the home side.
The Leafs jumped out to a 1-0 lead 2:27 into the first — a chunk of the late-arriving crowd had yet to take their seats due to a winter storm that blanketed Toronto — when Holmberg moved in alone on Shesterkin and backhanded his fifth of the campaign.
Toronto held a lightly attended optional morning skate, but veteran defenceman Mark Giordano — as he usually is — was out getting loose. “It’s a balance,” the 39-year-old explained. “You want to get into a good rhythm during the season. But for me, it’s just picking my spots.”
Keefe added the fact so few regulars were on the ice for what has largely become a dated tradition was an indication of energy levels within his group. “You really want to put it on them in terms of what they need,” said the coach. “The morning skate is optional. The game is mandatory. We need them to be ready to go for that. They know their bodies. They know what they need.”
The Maple Leafs host Ottawa on Friday.
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