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Leafs 5, Islanders 3

Slow start keys Isles loss

Friday, 12.23.2011 / 10:37 PM / News
By Cory Wright
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Leafs 5, Islanders 3

The New York Islanders conceded an early lead and dropped their second straight game, losing 5-3 to the Toronto Maple Leafs Friday night at Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders went down 3-0 eleven minutes into the first period, but battled back to 3-2 before Joey Crabb scored the game-winner on a shorthanded rush.

“We came out flat,” Matt Moulson said. “We had to battle hard to get back in it…it’s tough to win games when you spot teams three goals.”

Crabb finished off the shorthanded give-and-go with Tyler Bozak, corralling the puck around an Evgeni Nabokov poke-check. The Islanders responded again with a goal midway through the third to make it 4-3, but that was as close as they would come.

“We just got to understand games like these, after tough travel weeks, days we don’t feel very good, we have to find ways to win,” John Tavares said. “Especially a team like this that we are chasing in the standings.”

Tavares scored the teams’ third goal, after he received a pass in front of the Toronto net, showed patience and slid it by James Reimer. The momentum from the goal was cut short by a controversial call with three minutes remaining in the one-goal game.

Joffrey Lupul was called for cross-checking Tavares in the face, but the Islanders forward was also issued a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and diving. Instead of going on a powerplay, the Isles saw their man advantage disappear and momentum halted.

“They [the officials] have a hell of a tough job, but I thought it was pretty blatant, “Tavares said. “I just didn’t like the call.” 

Clarke MacArthur opened the scoring, beating Nabokov deep in his net on the high glove side. Just over two and a half minutes later Nazim Kadri found a puck and threaded it through for a powerplay goal. Carl Gunnarsson made it 3-0 with a shot from the point.

Kyle Okposo sparked the Isles late in the first period, taking a long, stretch pass from Mike Mottau beating Reimer low glove side. The Isles looked energized after the goal, drew a penalty and Frans Nielsen converted 40 seconds into the second period.

Nabokov stopped 22-of-26 and his counterpart, Reimer, stopped 30-of-33. Lupul added an empty-netter with nine seconds left in the game.

The Islanders get two days off for Christmas and take the ice again on Monday when they visit the New York Rangers. Puck-drop is at 7 p.m. Tonight’s attendance was 12,432.


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 46 21 24 -2 45
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 46 8 25 16 33
B. Nelson 46 15 15 6 30
F. Nielsen 46 9 16 4 25
J. Boychuk 36 4 18 15 22
J. Bailey 34 8 13 8 21
N. Leddy 46 7 14 15 21
N. Kulemin 46 11 9 1 20
A. Lee 40 13 5 7 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 25 9 0 .910 2.41
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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