Leafs Win On Gretzky's Night


Igor Korolev made sure the Toronto Maple Leafs had something to show for their fast start.

Korolev scored at 1:16 of overtime to give Toronto a 4-3 victory over New York on Saturday night in the NHL's inaugural Hockey Hall of Fame Game.

"We stopped doing the simple things after we got the lead, but we found a way to win," Korolev said. "It still counts for two points."

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  • The game featured a pregame tribute to Hall of Fame inductees Wayne Gretzky, Scotty Morrison and Andy Van Hellemond. Gretzky received a 90-second standing ovation. The three will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame on Monday.

    "Normally we have a quiet dressing room, but with all the festivities going on it was a little different," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "It was noisy before the game. We could hear them from the coaches' room. We wondered if something was wrong. There was energy."

    The Maple Leafs jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead on only four shots, but the Rangers rallied to tie it on John MacLean's first goal of the season midway through the third period.

    "It was 3-0 and I guess we thought we were pretty hot stuff," Quinn said. "We quit working, quit checking. We didn't create scoring chances. Slowly the tempo went to the Rangers. We were very fortunate to win."

    In overtime, Korolev scored into a wide-open net after Sergei Berezin's blast from the top of the circle bounced off goalie Mike Richter and onto Korolev's stick.

    Toronto scored on its first two shots on goal, both by Yanic Perreault. Dmitri Khristich had the other Toronto goal, propting Rangers coach John Muckler to replace goalie Kirk McLean with Richter.

    Adam Graves and Tim Taylor scored in the final three minutes of the second period for the Rangers. New York dominated play in the final two periods, outshooting Toronto 27-14.

    On the tying goal, Brian Leetch's shot from the point on a Rangers power play was deflected by MacLean, who had one skate in the crease.

    "We fought hard to get back in this game," MacLean said. "It's disappointing to lose it. But at least we didn't give up. It was embarrassing to get down 3-0 like we did."

    Perreault opened the scoring at 2:13 of the first period when he deflected Tomas Kaberle's wrist shot from the point. Perreault got his second of the night and seventh of the season 21 seconds later intercepting Mathieu Schneider's cross-ice pass and beating McLean to the top corner.

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