TORONTO -- With a 3-0 lead after the first period, the Toronto Maple Leafs appeared to have control of the game. Then came a bad bounce that led to a goal and a careless boarding penalty by repeat offender Ryan Hollweg, and the St. Louis Blues were suddenly back in it.
"We came out really strong, put them down on their butts and we talked during the first intermission that we have to come out really hard and the first five minutes (of the second period) was important," Leafs center Nik Antropov said. "Unfortunately, we get a bad bounce, a penalty for five minutes, and they capitalized on that."
Hollweg, back after serving a two-game suspension for collecting three boarding penalties in a 41-game span, is likely to face more discipline for his hit on Blues rookie defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.
"There's a fine line you dance of being aggressive and then completely pulling back and we've got to work with him to find that fine line," Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson said.
Pietrangelo may have somewhat turned into the hit, but Hollweg won't get the benefit of the doubt from officials with his track record. A fourth boarding major is expected to earn Hollweg an automatic three-game suspension from the NHL.
"It shouldn't happen in our game and it happened," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "If it was Keith Tkachuk or Alex Pietrangelo, I wouldn't feel any differently about it. It's unnecessary and certainly the league will deal with it."
Boyes banged in a rebound 33 seconds into the second period after Toskala robbed McDonald to make it a 3-1 game. After Hollweg was whistled for his penalty 1:50 later, Patrik Berglund scored on a rebound past a prone Toskala at 4:47 and Tkachuk buried a feed from Paul Kariya at 5:35 to tie the score.
"You have to at least limit the damage and we didn't," Wilson said. "We allowed them right back into the game at that point."
Niklas Hagman restored a lead for the Leafs at the 14-minute mark of the second period.
The Blues tied it at 4 at 4:21 of the third period on Kariya's backhander to set up the dramatic finish in the only meeting of the season between the teams.
Early on it looked like the (Canadian) Thanksgiving Day crowd of 19,045, enjoying a rare afternoon game at the Air Canada Centre, would be treated to a rout from the home side.
- Hollweg's return to the lineup sent Matt Stajan to the press box, ending the center's streak of 178 consecutive games played.
- Blues RW Lee Stempniak missed his second successive game after tweaking his left knee Friday during the first period of a 5-2 victory against Nashville. LW Dwayne King and D Mike Weaver were also scratched.
- Leafs forward Jamal Mayers faced the Blues for the first time since his trade to Toronto in June. He spent his first 10 NHL seasons in St. Louis.