TORONTO (Ticker) — Mikhail Grabovski scored 50 seconds into
overtime to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 victory over
the New York Islanders on Tuesday.
New York led, 2-1, in the third period before Alexei
Ponikarovsky tied the game with his 19th goal of the season less
than nine minutes into the session.
Grabovski had not scored a goal since January 29, a span of 17
games, and never had tallied in overtime before Tuesday.
He got some help as the Islanders failed on two chances to clear
the puck from their zone and took advantage, beating Joey
MacDonald with a shot as the goaltender was caught out of
position after making a save.
“Even during the game, there were times where I didn’t know
where (Grabovski) was,” Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. “He’s
worrying so much about scoring and so many other things.
Fortunately, he was able to get a bounce in front of him, he was
on the spot and able to get the job done.”
Lee Stempniak gave the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead late in the first,
but the advantage was short-lived.
Rookie Kyle Okposo tied the game 15 seconds later, and Blake
Comeau gave the Islanders a 2-1 edge exactly one minute after
Stempniak had opened the scoring.
Martin Gerber made 28 saves for Toronto.
“It was great, especially being down in the first there,” Gerber
said of the win. “(Defensemen Luke) Schenn and Phil (Oreskovic)
helped me see the puck out there, and it helped.”
MacDonald stopped 25 shots for the Islanders, who had won four
Stempniak beat MacDonald with a low wrist shot for his his 12th
goal at 17:27 of the first.
Okposo tied it as he knocked in a bouncing puck in front of
Gerber for his 15th tally of the season. Comeau then gave put
New York ahead when he recorded his seventh goal of the campaign
on a shot from near the blue line with 93 seconds remaining in
Ponikarovsky forged a 2-2 deadlock at 8:46 of the third, when he
knocked down a clearing attempt and fired a shot past MacDonald
and into the top right corner of the net.
The Islanders, who went 0-for-5 on the power play, fell to
6-23-3 on the road with the loss.
“We had several 5-on-3s and man advantages, and we just didn’t
capitalize,” Okposo said.