TORONTO — Once upon a time, the Golden Knights were one of the most dangerous teams in the league during overtime.
Recently, however, 3-on-3 hasn’t treated the Knights well at all.
Toronto’s John Tavares scored with 2:27 remaining in overtime Thursday to hand the Knights a bitter 2-1 loss at Scotiabank Arena.
“We’ve got to clean up the overtime,” left wing Max Pacioretty said. “It feels like we’re not even getting chances, really, or even getting possession of the puck. We have to really figure that out, figure out why and really just work at it.”
The Knights went to OT for the third time in their past four games and have come away on the losing end each time.
The last time they scored in the extra session came Jan. 12 in a 4-3 win over the Blackhawks when Shea Theodore was credited with the winner after Chicago defenseman Carl Dahlstrom knocked the puck into his own net.
The Knights opened the OT with a brief power play but couldn’t convert, and the Maple Leafs capitalized on a turnover by William Karlsson for the winner.
Mitchell Marner intercepted a pass along the boards to create a 2-on-1, and Malcolm Subban was unable to slide across the crease in time to deny Tavares’ one-timer.
Toronto’s Auston Matthews tied the score 1-1 on the power play at 8:14 of the third period after Pacioretty broke the deadlock four minutes earlier.
On the bright side, the Knights extended their points streak to five games (2-0-3).
“We had a chance to win it,” coach Gerard Gallant said, “but I liked our game.”
Here’s what stood out from the Knights’ loss:
1. Subban shines in homecoming.
The last time Subban took the ice at Scotiabank Arena, he was still a defenseman playing youth hockey.
But the Toronto native was handed the start in his hometown and finished with 35 saves. He made two big stops on Trevor Moore in the third period, including a partial breakaway with a little more than eight minutes remaining in regulation.
But Subban was outdueled by the Maple Leafs’ Frederik Andersen, who turned away 37 of 38 shots and matched the Knights’ Marc-Andre Fleury for the league league in victories with nine.
“I thought I had a good game, but it’s tough when you get outplayed by the other goaltender,” Subban said. “He made some nice saves there, and I wish I could have made one of those.”
2. Living dangerous.
The Knights had the majority of the scoring chances in the first period despite being outshot 13-7. They held the Maple Leafs without a shot on goal for the opening 13:16 of the second period.
Normally that’s a recipe for success, but the Knights’ inability to stay out of the penalty box ultimately proved costly.
Matthews broke through with William Carrier in the box for holding, which was the team’s sixth penalty. The Knights are tied for fifth in the NHL with 64 minor penalties.
“I didn’t like a few calls, to be honest,” Gallant said. “We address it all the time, but again, I thought there was too many calls.”
3. Mr. Postman.
The Knights hit two crossbars, including Reilly Smith clanking iron in the opening 18 seconds.
But no one has been more snakebitten than Pacioretty, who rattled the bar on a second-period power play and has hit the post or crossbar a team-high five times.
Pacioretty caught a break in the third period and notched his 20th goal in 41 career games against Toronto, the most he’s scored against any team.