TORONTO — Peter Holland’s sixth goal of the season on the power play broke a third-period tie and Jonathan Bernier stopped 39 shots as the Toronto Maple Leafs opened the new year with a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.
James van Riemsdyk, Nazem Kadri and Michael Grabner, into an empty net, rounded out the attack for Toronto (15-15-7). It was the first regulation home win for the Maple Leafs over St. Louis since 1998.
Vladimir Tarasenko’s 23rd goal of the season was the lone offence for the Blues (23-14-4), who got 29 saves from Jake Allen.
Holland got the winner at 3:15 of the third with Kyle Brodziak in the penalty box for cross-checking. Holland had the time and space on the right wing to pick his spot and, with a little help from a Leo Komarov screen, found an opening in the corner above Allen’s left shoulder.
After a scoreless first period, Tarasenko opened the scoring at 8:28 of the second with the Blues on the power play. He one-timed a cross-ice pass from David Backes that beat Bernier over his left shoulder.
That lead only lasted five seconds, with van Riemsdyk evening the game at 1-1. St. Louis defenceman Alex Pietrangelo didn’t control the puck well off the faceoff and van Riemsdyk picked up the loose puck and unleashed a low shot that fooled Allen as the puck kicked up off his pads and into the roof of the net.
Kadri’s goal came with just under six minutes remaining in the third when he raced onto a pass from Grabner. His initial tip-in attempt was saved but he converted on the second attempt.