Reaves scored his first two goals since joining the Rangers in the offseason, Adam Fox had two goals and an assist, and New York scored three times in the third period to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3 on Wednesday night for its seventh win in nine games.
“I never want to go three months without scoring,” said Reaves, who has 51 goals in 719 career games. “I tend to do that a lot in my career. Feels good to get them out of the way, especially in this barn. Hopefully they keep coming.”
Chris Kreider got his 25th goal of the season, Ryan Strome had a goal and an assist, and Jacob Trouba and Artemi Panarin each added two assists for New York, which rallied from a two-goal deficit after the first period.
“We just have that mentality that we’re never out of a game,” Fox said. “It’s just another showing of the type of team we have. We’ve had other games where we haven’t been our best in periods and responded well after that and this was another game like that.”
Igor Shesterkin stopped 35 shots — including 27 over the final two periods after giving up three goals in the first.
Mitch Marner had a goal and an assist, and Ilya Mikheyev and Michael Bunting also scored in the first for the Maple Leafs. Jack Campbell finished with 21 saves.
“We’ve had a lot of really good starts,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. “Obviously it’s been the finish or the second half of games that haven’t gone well. … Maybe a fast start was working against us. We thought it would be easy the rest of the way. We paid for it.”
Shesterkin stopped William Nylander on a breakaway 2:11 into the third period to keep the score tied at 3 and draw chants of “I-gor! I-gor!” from the home crowd.
Strome put the Rangers ahead with 9:10 remaining. Kreider made it 5-3 with 4:27 left.
Auston Matthews, who scored in 10 straight road games, nearly extended his streak with 3:52 remaining when the puck went off his skate and in, but it was disallowed after officials determined he had made a distinct kicking motion.
The Maple Leafs pulled Campbell for an extra skater with just under 3 minutes to go, but Fox had an empty-netter with 2:24 left to seal the win.
With the Rangers trailing 3-1 after 20 minutes, Reaves got the Rangers within one for the second time with his second of the night at 2:58 of the second.
“It’s about time he scored a couple of big goals for us,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant joked. “He was really excited and I know our team loved it when he gets in front of the net and scores those goals.”
New York tied it with 2:11 remaining in the period as Strome sent a pass across the front of the goal to Fox, who quickly beat Campbell.
After a turnover by the Rangers near their goal line, Mikheyev knocked in the rebound of a shot by Pierre Engvall for his sixth 2:44 into the game.
Marner made it 2-0 just 46 seconds later with a power-play goal. It was Marner’s eighth of the season and first on the power play in 101 games.
Reaves got the Rangers on the scoreboard with 7:08 left in the first with his 50th career goal. He had one in 37 games with the Golden Knights last season.
Bunting restored Toronto’s two-goal lead nearly 5 minutes later on a fortuitous deflection on an odd-man rush.
Nylander’s assist on Marner’s first-period goal was the 300th of his career. … Reaves had two goals for the first time since April 25, 2013, against Calgary while playing for St. Louis. … Rangers F Kaapo Kakko played in his 150th career game. … Mika Zibanejad had an assist on Fox’s second goal, extending his season-high point streak to six games. … The Maple Leafs lost in regulation for the first time this season when tied going into the third period, falling to 4-1-2. … The Rangers improved to 12-0-1 when tied after two.
The Rangers honored Teddy Balkind, the Connecticut 10th grader who died after taking a skate to his neck during a junior varsity game earlier this month. All Rangers players wore Balkind’s No. 5 on the back of their jerseys during pregame warmups. A moment of silence was held in his honor before the national anthem, and his St. Luke’s teammates were recognized in attendance.
Maple Leafs: At New York Islanders on Saturday night to finish a stretch of six straight road games.
Rangers: At Carolina on Friday night.