Leo Komarov received a match penalty and game misconduct in Toronto’s 4-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday night. Komarov checked Rangers defenceman Ryan McDonagh with an elbow to the head in an incident that the NHL will likely review to see if supplemental discipline is warranted.
“Leo plays a hard, he’s not a dirty player by any means,” said Leafs coach Mike Babcock. “Their guy was kind of crouched, but it’s unfortunate.”
McDonagh was kept out of the remainder of the game for precautionary reasons.
The Leafs opened the scoring when P.A. Parenteau deposited a rebound at the edge of the crease after Martin Marincin’s point shot got through traffic. Viktor Loov, making his NHL debut after being recalled from the Marlies earlier in the day, picked up the secondaary assist, his first career point.
Komarov’s ejection was assessed with 1:02 left in the first period. More penalty trouble ensued for the Leafs in the second frame when Nick Spaling received a double-minor for high sticking, putting Toronto down by two men. The Rangers capitalized, with Derrick Brassard finding the equalizer.
The Rangers went ahead after pouncing on a turnover in the Leafs end. Derek Stepan initially had his deke attempt stopped by Jonathan Bernier, but then the puck found its way to a waiting Mats Zuccarrello, who made no mistake for his 20th goal of the year.
New York carried its lead late into regulation time. After Toronto pulled Bernier in favour of a sixth attacker, it tied the score when Colin Greening found a loose puck among a pile of bodies in front of Rangers netminder Antti Raanta. It was Greening’s first goal as a Leaf after coming over from Ottawa in the Dion Phaneuf trade.
But just as the game appeared headed for regulation, Morgan Rielly turned the puck over to J.T. Miller behind the Leafs net. The end result was the go-ahead goal from Stepan at 18:29 of the third period that held up as the game-winnner. Brassard rounded out the scoring into an empty net, his second goal of the evening.
“We played really well. We put up almost 40 shots out there,” Bernier said. “I thought we played a tremendous game. It’s too bad we didn’t come out with any points.”