Bozak's OT goal spoils St. Louis' Rangers debut
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By IRA PODELL
NEW YORK (AP) Martin St. Louis' day started way better than it finished.
The former Tampa Bay Lightning star got his wish when he was dealt to the New York Rangers on NHL trade deadline day. He then got into the lineup with his new team right away, but wasn't able to celebrate his first home win on Broadway.
Tyler Bozak scored on a penalty shot and then got the winning goal 1:51 into overtime to lift Toronto to a 3-2 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday night after the Maple Leafs squandered a two-goal lead in the third period.
"Tonight was a gutsy comeback," St. Louis said. "Unfortunately we didn't get the extra point, but I was happy to come here and just break the ice."
Bozak got to a loose puck in front that bounced past Rangers defensemen Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh and slammed a shot past Henrik Lundqvist to snap the Maple Leafs' three-game losing streak (0-1-2) and stretch New York's skid to three (0-2-1).
Lundqvist slammed his stick on the glass as he left the ice and was still aggravated when he got to the dressing room.
"Every point is important right now. It's annoying the way it ends," he said. "We played really well and worked ourselves back into this game. It's a big frustration right now to not come out of it with two points."
"That was tough," Bozak said of the Rangers' rally. "Just have to play well on the power play. We played well for the most part. Made better decisions, just got lackadaisical for a bit."
Lundqvist bounced back from two straight losses in which he gave up 10 goals, and finished with 26 saves. Toronto's Jonathan Bernier had dropped two straight after regulation - allowing nine goals in the process - before sitting out Monday's loss against Columbus. He stopped 35 shots.
The Rangers got even by scoring twice on the first power play they gave up in two games.
McDonagh made it 2-1 at 5:34 with his 10th goal, and Moore tied it when he finished a 2-on-1 rush with Derek Stepan. It was the second time in four games Toronto allowed two short-handed goals on one power play.
"Aside from those two minutes on the power play, we played a strong game," Kadri said. "We got the result we wanted, the two points.
"We just to have to clean up the power play and we'll be better, but we're all pleased with the overall good job we did."
That was enough to prevent St. Louis from being a winner in his first Rangers game.
St. Louis was acquired Wednesday morning from Tampa Bay in the rare swap of team captains that sent New York's Ryan Callahan to the Lightning. St. Louis, whose jersey was flying off the racks in the team store at Madison Square Garden before the game, got the chance to wear his own just hours after being dealt.
"I always felt if I was going to leave Tampa, the first place I'd want to play would be in New York," St. Louis said. "It's been in the back of my mind for a long time, but I wouldn't trade those 14 years in Tampa for anything."
Just after Toronto killed a power play that carried over from the first period, James van Riemsdyk came out of the penalty box and sent Bozak in on a breakaway. Rangers defenseman John Moore hounded him from behind with his stick and prevented Bozak from getting a clean shot away. However, Bozak was awarded with a penalty shot at 1:44.
Bozak skated in on Lundqvist, who came way out above his crease, and found space between his pads to score his 13th goal of the season on his first career penalty shot.
The Maple Leafs' next best scoring chance didn't register on the shot board as defenseman Jake Gardiner's drive struck the crossbar and then the right post before bounding away. It was originally ruled a goal on the ice, but that call was overturned by video replay.
Toronto managed only five shots in the second period, compared to nine for New York.
The Maple Leafs doubled their lead at 2:00 of the third when Kadri steered in the rebound of Nikolai Kulemin's shot.
St. Louis got a nice ovation when he hopped over the boards for his first shift 38 seconds in, and created a surge of excitement when he fired a hard shot on goal from the top edge of the left circle.
Bernier was sharp and stood tall following a handful of miscues by teammates in front of him, stopping 12 shots in the first period. Lundqvist was just as solid at the other end, denying all 11 shots that came his way.
NOTES: The Rangers won't name a new captain this season. Instead, D Dan Girardi joined Marc Staal and Brad Richards as those wearing an `A' on their jersey. ... Cam Talbot was the winning goalie in the Rangers' two victories over Toronto this season. The Maple Leafs avoided a three-game, season-series sweep.
Updated March 5, 2014