January 7, 2018 / 3:51 AM / 5 months ago

Leafs erase deficit, top Canucks in shootout

Tyler Bozek scored the game-tying goal in the third period and then netted the winner in a shootout as the Toronto Maple Leafs erased a two-goal deficit and beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 Saturday night in Toronto.

Bozek, the third and final shooter for the Maple Leafs, notched the game-winning tally by wristing a shot past the glove of Vancouver goalie Jacob Markstrom. Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen subsequently closed the door on Thomas Vanek’s effort, ending the shootout.

The Maple Leafs (25-16-2) trailed by a 2-0 count as the third period neared the midway point, but they found their offense just in time before the Air Canada Centre faithful.

Auston Matthews cued the comeback just a couple of minutes after the visitors made it a two-goal game when he finished a perfectly executed two-on-one rush with Zach Hyman by tucking a shot just inside the post at 8:23.

Bozek then converted his own rebound at 12:37 on a partial breakaway to even the game at 2-2 and force extra time.

The game also featured the NHL debut for Toronto defenseman Travis Dermott, a 2015 second-round draft pick who collected an assist in his first big-league game.

The loss, even if it came with a point in the standings, was the third straight for the Canucks (16-19-6). Vancouver has just two wins in its past 13 outings after letting one get away Saturday.

After a scoreless first period, Brock Boeser — who leads all NHL rookies in goals and points — opened the scoring early in the second period by ripping a short-side offering past Andersen for his 22nd goal of the season.

Sam Gagner doubled the Vancouver lead at 6:34 of the third period with a power-play goal during a five-on-three advantage.

Boeser thought he scored early in overtime when he ripped a shot that beat Andersen, but video replay showed it rang off both posts but didn’t cross the line.

Andersen and Markstrom were each credited with 34 saves.

—Field Level Media

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