Max Domi scored the shootout winner as the Toronto Maple Leafs downed the New York Rangers 4-3 on Saturday night.

John Tavares, Mitch Marner and William Nylander had the goals in regulation for Toronto (35-17-8). Ilya Samsonov stopped 32 shots through 65 minutes of action.

Vincent Trocheck scored twice for New York (40-17-4), while Alexis Lafreniere added a goal and two assists. Artemi Panarin also had two assists.

Igor Shesterkin made 31 saves.

After Mika Zibanejad and Marner traded goals in the shootout, Domi put Toronto ahead in the fourth round. Trocheck then hit the post to seal the Leafs' win.

Ilya Lyubushkin, who took a big hit from hulking New York rookie Matt Rempe late in the second period and didn't return, suited up for the Leafs following Thursday's three-team trade that brought the bruising right-shot defenceman back to Toronto from Anaheim. The 29-year-old Russian was also with the club for 31 games and a playoff round in 2022.

Toronto forward Calle Jarnkrok returned to the lineup after breaking his knuckle in practice Jan. 26, while blueliner Timothy Liljegren was also back from a two-game absence with an undisclosed injury.

Tavares snapped a 2-2 tie at 7:17 of the third period when Jarnkrok's shot hit Rangers defenceman Jacob Trouba before ricocheting off the Toronto captain and in for his 18th goal of the season.

The six-foot-seven Rempe - a combatant in three memorable fights through six NHL appearances entering Saturday - and Leafs tough guy Ryan Reaves dropped the gloves in a spirited tilt later in the period.

Samsonov made a huge stop on Panarin with less that five minutes remaining in regulation and made an even bigger glove save on Adam Fox moments later.

But Trocheck tied the game with his second of the night and 22nd overall with 67 seconds on the clock when he potted a rebound to force overtime after Marner hit the post on an icing.

New York opened the scoring at 11:33 of the first when Lafreniere wired a shot off the post and back bar for his 18th.

After plenty of pre-game talk about Rempe and Reaves, the pair were in close quarters later in the period. Reaves, 37, tried to get the 21-year-old forward's attention in the neutral zone at the end of their shifts, but Rempe skated off to boos from the Scotiabank Arena crowd.

Samsonov stopped Jimmy Vesey on a breakaway later in the period and Trochek ripped a shot off the post on a power play before Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly swept the loose puck to safety.

The Leafs - 8-1-0 over their last nine entering Saturday - got even at 3:54 of the second when Marner slid his 24th under Shesterkin, but Trochek finished off a nice passing play 1:09 later to make it 2-1.

Nylander got the home side back even at 8:54 when he floated a shot through traffic that hit former Toronto defenceman Erik Gustafsson's stick and fooled Shesterkin for his 33rd. That gave the Swede his third 10-game point streak of the season to set a franchise record.

The Rangers netminder denied Leafs star Auston Matthews, who leads the NHL with 53 goals, on a backhand from in close and Samsonov stopped Fox off a short-handed rush.

Rempe delivered that hard hit on Lyubushkin late in the period to end the reacquired blueliner's evening.


Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette was asked Saturday morning how his team planned to handle Matthews, who had a pair of goals in both games against New York in December.

“We're hoping he had the flu,” Laviolette joked. “He scores them from everywhere.”


Toronto demoted winger Nick Robertson to the American Hockey League with Jarnkrok back healthy.


Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe picked up his 200th victory Thursday in his 326th game behind the bench, making him the fastest coach in franchise history to reach the milestone. Pat Quinn held the previous club record with his first 200 wins coming in 383 contests.


Toronto: Hosts Boston on Monday, while New York hosts Florida.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2024.