Leafs 5, Islanders 3

Slow start keys Isles loss

Friday, 12.23.2011 / 10:37 PM ET / 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.


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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 74 46 20 8 195 162 100
2 NYR 72 46 19 7 219 167 99
3 TBL 74 46 21 7 242 191 99
4 NYI 74 44 25 5 226 205 93
5 PIT 73 40 22 11 202 181 91
6 DET 72 39 21 12 208 195 90
7 WSH 73 39 24 10 212 180 88
8 OTT 72 37 24 11 212 190 85
9 BOS 73 36 25 12 193 190 84
10 FLA 73 33 26 14 180 201 80
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 73 31 31 11 164 186 73
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 72 26 36 10 165 199 62
15 TOR 74 27 41 6 193 237 60
16 BUF 73 20 46 7 138 245 47

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 74 34 40 2 74
K. Okposo 52 15 31 -7 46
R. Strome 73 15 30 19 45
B. Nelson 74 18 22 9 40
F. Nielsen 73 12 28 9 40
A. Lee 68 23 16 15 39
J. Bailey 62 15 22 8 37
J. Boychuk 64 7 25 12 32
N. Leddy 70 10 19 18 29
T. Hamonic 64 5 24 15 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 35 15 2 .914 2.38
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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