Coming off a two-day holiday break that culminated in a game-day
trip to New York, the Maple Leafs pulled out a 6-5 overtime victory
that stretched their point streak to 16 games Friday night.
Mats Sundin scored 3:35 into overtime to lift Toronto, which led
4-1 and 5-2 and lost two players to injury.
"It was a strange game, a wild game," Maple Leafs coach Pat
Quinn said. "We're happy with the win to say the least."
The Maple Leafs escaped with their streak intact despite being
outshot 35-25. Toronto is 14-0-1-1 since last losing a regulation
game on Nov. 20 at Edmonton, and 7-0-1 away from home.
The run ties the longest in the NHL since the 1999-2000 season,
when points were first awarded for overtime losses.
Sundin tied former teammate Steve Thomas with his NHL-record
13th overtime goal. It was his 66th game-winning goal with Toronto
and his NHL-best 29th since the start of the 2000-01 season.
"We didn't play that good and we were still up 5-2," Sundin
said. "We found a way."
"I don't know how everyone else feels but I don't get satisfied
with one point," forward Bobby Holik said. "You are playing
sloppy, you tie the game at one point, you want to win."
The Maple Leafs and Rangers played their entire season series
during Toronto's streak, and the Leafs finished 4-0 against their
Original Six foes.
The teams scored five times within 4:15 late in the second
period to turn a hard-hitting affair into a shootout that would've
brought back fond memories for Rangers coach Glen Sather.
Sather, who ran the high-scoring Edmonton Oilers in the late
1980s, missed the game because he was home with the flu.
Leafs starting goalie Trevor Kidd injured his groin eight
minutes into the second period. He was replaced by Ed Belfour to
start the third. The Maple Leafs also lost Robert Reichel, who was
knocked out of the game by defenseman Darius Kasparaitis late in
The game was tied 1-1 after one period, and Toronto led 5-4
Barnaby made it 5-5 when he put in a loose puck after Eric
Lindros took a backhander from the slot.
Tucker broke a 1-1 tie 6:46 into the second period, when the
Maple Leafs turned a penalty to Martin Rucinsky into a power-play
goal for the second time.
The Rangers earned a power play following a scuffle that broke
out as Tucker scored, but couldn't convert. Instead, the Maple
Leafs extended their lead just less than four minutes later.
Klee ripped a shot from the blue line that got through a double
screen in front and past Mike Dunham to make it 3-1 at 10:36.
Jackman made it a three-goal advantage with 4:54 left in the
period to set off the scoring burst.
But de Vries answered 17 seconds later to bring New York to 4-2.
Nieuwendyk then took a pass from Alexei Ponikarovsky and carried
the puck into the left circle. He let go a hard shot that beat
Dunham and popped up the water bottle on top of the net.
Again, the Rangers answered. This time it was Kovalev 43 seconds
later to make it 5-3 with 1:11 left in the seesaw second period.
Rucinsky made it a one-goal game with 38.8 seconds remaining.
"We've got to take a lesson from this," Tucker said. "We can
take the positives out of it but we have to be much better."
Both teams changed goalies for the third period. The Rangers
went to backup Jussi Markkanen while Toronto turned to Belfour.
Markkanen made eight saves, Belfour stopped 11 shots.
Kidd stopped 23 of New York's first 27 shots in his third game
this season and second road appearance against the Rangers. Dunham
made only eight saves on 13 shots.
"Eleven goals, that's what they want, but it was ugly," Dunham
Rangers RW Anson Carter sat out because of a rib injury
sustained in Monday's win over Boston. ... Toronto RW Mikael
Renberg missed the first game of what is expected to be a
three-game absence due to family matters in Sweden. ... Kidd is
day-to-day. There was no immediate update on Reichel.