TORONTO -- With a 3-0 lead after the first period, the Toronto Maple appeared to have control of the game. Then came a bad bounce that led to a goal and a careless boarding penalty by repeat offender Ryan Hollweg, and the St. Louis Blues were suddenly back in it.
Andy McDonald and Brad Boyes scored in a shootout to give the Blues a 5-4 comeback win over the Maple Leafs on Monday.
"We came out really strong, put them down on their butts and we talked during the first intermission that we have to come out really hard and the first 5 minutes [of the second period] was important," Leafs center Nik Antropov said. "Unfortunately, we get a bad bounce, a penalty for 5 minutes, and they capitalized on that."
Hollweg, back after serving a two-game suspension for collecting three boarding penalties in a 41-game span, is likely to face more discipline for his hit on Blues rookie defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.
"There's a fine line you dance of being aggressive and then completely pulling back and we've got to work with him to find that fine line," Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson said.
Pietrangelo may have somewhat turned into the hit, but Hollweg won't get the benefit of the doubt from officials with his track record. A fourth boarding major is expected to earn Hollweg an automatic three-game suspension from the NHL.
"It shouldn't happen in our game and it happened," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "If it was Keith Tkachuk or Alex Pietrangelo, I wouldn't feel any differently about it. It's unnecessary and certainly the league will deal with it."
Boyes banged in a rebound 33 seconds into the second period after Toskala robbed McDonald to make it a 3-1 game. After Hollweg was whistled for his penalty 1:50 later, Patrik Berglund scored on a rebound past a prone Toskala at 4:47 and Tkachuk buried a feed from Paul Kariya at 5:35 to tie the score.
"You have to at least limit the damage and we didn't," Wilson said. "We allowed them right back into the game at that point."
Niklas Hagman restored a lead for the Leafs at the 14-minute mark of the second period.
The Blues tied it at 4 at 4:21 of the third period on Kariya's backhander to set up the dramatic finish in the only meeting of the season between the teams.
Early on it looked like the Thanksgiving Day crowd of 19,045, enjoying a rare afternoon game at the Air Canada Centre, would be treated to a rout from the home side.
Hollweg's return to the lineup sent Matt Stajan to the pressbox, ending the center's streak of 178 straight games played. ... Blues RW Lee Stempniak missed his second straight game after tweaking his left knee during the first period of Friday's 5-2 win over Nashville. LW Dwayne King and D Mike Weaver were also scratched. ... Leafs forward Jamal Mayers faced the Blues for the first time since his trade to Toronto in June. He spent his first 10 NHL seasons in St. Louis.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Air Canada Centre Location: Toronto, Ontario
Referees: Chris Rooney, Kelly Sutherland Linesmen: Anthony Sericolo, Dan Schachte
Attendance: 19,045 (101.3% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Tomas Kaberle (1)
Assists: Mike Van Ryn, Nik Antropov
Nikolai Kulemin (2)
Assist: Nik Antropov
Alexei Ponikarovsky (1)
Assist: Jason Blake
Brad Boyes (3)
Assists: Andy McDonald, T.J. Oshie
Patrik Berglund (1)
(Power Play) Assists: David Perron, Steve Wagner
Keith Tkachuk (4)
(Power Play) Assists: Paul Kariya, Andy McDonald
Niklas Hagman (1)
Assists: John Mitchell, Jamal Mayers
Paul Kariya (1)
Assist: Patrik Berglund
No scoring this period
Nik Antropov shootout attempt against Manny Legace with a Wide of Net results in a MISS.
Andy McDonald shootout attempt against Vesa Toskala with a Wristshot results in a GOAL.
Nikolai Kulemin shootout attempt against Manny Legace with a Snapshot results in a GOAL.
Brad Boyes shootout attempt against Vesa Toskala with a Wristshot results in a GOAL.
Pavel Kubina shootout attempt against Manny Legace with a Wristshot results in a SAVE.