ST. LOUIS (AP)William Nylander scored in overtime for Toronto after teammate TJ Brodie missed a penalty shot earlier in the extra session, and the Maple Leafs beat the St. Louis Blues 5-4 on Tuesday night.
Justin Holl, Alexander Kerfoot, Calle Jarnkrok and John Tavares also scored for Toronto, and Ilya Samsonov made 30 saves as the Leafs won their third straight to improve to 10-2-1 in December.
”As a general rule, you don’t get too critical of these games coming out of the (Christmas) break, even less so when you get two points,” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. ”I didn’t like that when we were in control of the game in the second period with a two-goal lead that we gave that back. But you have to like how the guys fought back.”
Jordan Kyrou, Calle Rosen, Ryan O’Reilly and Justin Faulk scored for the Blues.
Jordan Binnington allowed five goals on 37 shots as St. Louis dropped its third straight after winning four in a row.
Nylander scored his 21st goal of the season on a breakaway with 57 seconds remaining in overtime after he forced Vladimir Tarasenko to turn the puck over in the Leafs zone. Nylander has recorded a point in five straight games with four goals and three assists in that span.
Brodie was awarded a penalty shot 1:24 into overtime after being tripped by Kyrou, but Binnington got his right pad on the puck to preserve the 4-4 tie.
Keefe started the overtime period by sending out defensemen Brodie and Timothy Liljegren along with center David Kampf to set a defensive tone.
”It changes the dynamic of overtime pretty significantly,” Keefe said. ”Whether it’s a factor or not, I’m not quite sure, but later in the overtime when you see our best guys still have legs, still have energy, the way that (Nylander) did to jump on that puck and take off, I don’t know if that’s the reason why it worked that way, but I liked the way it played out.”
Kyrou tied the game at 4-all with his team-leading 17th goal of the season 5:13 into the third period. Kyrou, who returned after missing two games with an upper-body injury, has seven goals and three assists in his last four games.
Jarnkrok scored from behind the goal line to put Toronto ahead 4-3 with 4:44 remaining in the second period.
”The second period, we got on our heels a little bit, I thought, and just didn’t manage things properly and let them come at us too much,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. ”We regained it, I thought we got it back and then there were a couple shifts in the third where we just got hemmed in.”
Faulk scored on a power play to tie the game 3-all 9:30 into the second period.
O’Reilly scored his 10th of the season 7:39 into the second to cut the Blues’ deficit to 3-2.
”We scored some big goals,” O”Reilly said. ”It’s a good point, but we need two. In the position we’re in right now, how tight this race is going to be, we need two points. It’s a disappointing night that way.”
Kerfoot scored a short-handed goal with Holl serving a penalty for boarding Robert Thomas 5:26 into the second period to put Toronto ahead 3-1.
The Blues placed D Torey Krug on injured reserve with a lower-body injury and said he’ll be reevaluated in six weeks. Krug left the ice in the final seconds of Friday’s shootout loss at Vegas after blocking a shot off his foot. The club recalled D Tyler Tucker, who was a healthy scratch.
Maple Leafs: At Arizona on Thursday night.
Blues: Host Chicago on Thursday night.
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