Defenseman Marc Staal scored the tying goal early in the third period and then set up Marian Gaborik’s game-winner late to rally the Rangers to a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night in New York.
This one had all the signs of being another tough loss for the Rangers, who had already dropped three of their first four in the lockout-shortened season. But Staal got New York even at 2 at 7:36 of the third and then fired the drive that Gaborik deflected in with 7:03 left.
The Rangers held a commanding shots advantage throughout and finished with a 42-17 edge, but they trailed, 2-0, in the first period.
Brad Richards, who also assisted on Gaborik’s winner, got the Rangers within 2-1 in the second. Gaborik added two assists and an empty-net goal with 1:15 to go.
On the go-ahead goal, Richards nudged the puck up the wall to Staal, who unleashed a one-timer that Gaborik tipped past screened goalie James Reimer. Brian Boyle then deflected in Michael Del Zotto’s drive to make it 4-2 with 2:52 remaining.
Mikhail Grabovski and James van Riemsdyk scored first-period goals for the Maple Leafs. Defenseman John-Michael Liles assisted on both early goals for Toronto, which blew a lead for the second straight game. On Thursday, the Maple Leafs allowed five straight goals in a 7-4 loss to the New York Islanders after jumping out to a 3-1 edge.
Reimer was strong throughout before his rough third period. He had to be nearly perfect for much of the game because his teammates generated so few shots at opposing goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
Sharks 4, Avalanche 0 — Patrick Marleau became the second player in NHL history to open a season with four straight multigoal games, striking twice on the power play in the first period in host San Jose’s win over Colorado.
Marleau has scored exactly two goals in each game this season, joining Ottawa’s Cy Denneny in 1917-18 as the only players to open a campaign with four multigoal games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Joe Thornton added a power-play goal in the second period, giving San Jose 10 power-play goals in four games and 19 overall.
Thomas Greiss made 24 saves for his first career shutout, and Matt Irwin got his first career goal, as the Sharks are off to their best start since also winning the first four games in 2008-09.
Blackhawks 3, Blue Jackets 2 — Jonathan Toews scored the game-winner early in the third period and Corey Crawford had 24 saves to help visiting Chicago match the best start in franchise history with a victory over Columbus, running the Blackhawks’ record to 5-0-0.
The only other time the Blackhawks began a season 5-0-0 was 1971-72.
Patrick Kane had two assists for the Blackhawks. Crawford, who won for the fourth time this season, was solid all night but particularly when Chicago was a man down.
Flyers 7, Panthers 1 — Matt Read notched his first career hat trick and Philadelphia beat host Florida in Sunrise for its second straight win after losing its first three games of the season.
Kimmo Timonen, Tye McGinn, Luke Schenn, and Ruslan Fedotenko also scored for the Flyers, and Ilya Bryzgalov had 30 saves.
Peter Mueller scored for the Panthers and Scott Clemmensen stopped 13 shots in relief of Jose Theodore, who was pulled after allowing three goals on nine shots in the first period.
Kings 4, Coyotes 2 — Anze Kopitar scored two goals as defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles beat host Phoenix for its first win of the season.
Jake Muzzin had a goal and an assist and Jeff Carter also scored for the Kings, who matched their season total for goals to avoid their first four-game winless start since 1997-98. Eight players had at least a point for the Kings.
Mikkel Boedker and Shane Doan scored for the Coyotes in their fourth loss in five games.
Blues 4, Stars 3 — David Perron scored two goals and had an assist, and Wade Redden notched his first NHL goal in almost three years to lead St. Louis over host Dallas.
Both of Perron’s goals, as well as Chris Stewart’s third of the season, were part of a three-goal second period that turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead for St. Louis.
Ryan Garbutt’s first goal of the season pulled Dallas to within one 2:24 into the third, but the Stars’ late charge fell just short. Michael Ryder and Tomas Vincour also scored for Dallas.