The New York Islanders snapped a two-game losing streak on Sunday, piling up five goals in a 5-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Barclays Center.
The Islanders built an early lead with two quick goals out of the gate and cemented the win with three goals in the third period. Shane Prince and Brock Nelson each had a goal and an assist in the win, while Travis Hamonic, Casey Cizikas and Josh Bailey each lit the lamp for the Islanders.
"Two big goals get you in the right frame of mind and off to a good start," John Tavares said. "They kind of responded after the first 10 minutes and got a goal in the third. When you respond with some good offensive shifts and are able to put a couple in and kill their momentum, it's huge."
Video: TOR@NYI: Hamonic beats Enroth a minute into the game
New line combinations were part of the key to unlocking the offense on Sunday, with Prince, Nelson and Andrew Ladd being the most active of the new lines. Prince, who has goals in back to back games since returning from a lower-body injury, roofed a wrister past Jhonas Enroth and made a great turnaround pass to Nelson less than three minutes later. The line nearly had a third shortly after, as Ladd fed Nelson for a backdoor play, but Nelson backhanded it just wide.
"I never like being out for injuries and I just put the work in while I was out," said Prince, whose enthusiastic goal celebrations radiated his desire to be back in the lineup. "I worked on my skills and my skating and made sure I was ready to go when I got back in."
Video: TOR@NYI: Seidenberg, Prince help set up Nelson
As for the other lines, Anthony Beauvillier got a shot to play with John Tavares and Bailey, while Anders Lee, Ryan Strome and Jason Chimera skated as a trio. A healthy Nikolay Kulemin had two assists in his return to the lineup, rejoining Cal Clutterbuck and Cizikas with the energetic line combining for the Islanders second goal.
The Islanders jumped on the Leafs early, opening the scoring 1:01 into the contest and making it 2-0 before the game was eight minutes old. Hamonic struck first beating Jhonas Enroth from the point for his second goal in as many games, while Cizikas finished off a Cal Clutterbuck rebound at 7:22.
Video: TOR@NYI: Cizikas crashes net, scores his first goal
The Leafs made a push in the second period, but Thomas Greiss was the difference, making 17 second-period saves to preserve the Isles' two-goal lead. Overall Greiss made 33 saves on Sunday, but his contribution came in the middle frame.
"We laid back a little bit there at the end of the first and in the second," Prince said. "He kept us in it and held them off long enough for us to get a couple of goals and get some insurance goals."
Jake Gardiner's power-play goal put the Leafs on the board 50 seconds into the third, but the Islanders responded after Toronto's strike. Dennis Seidenberg's dump in clipped Enroth's stick behind the net and bounced right out to Prince, who took advantage of the gaffe, beating the Leafs' goalie top corner at 5:08. Seidenberg set the next goal in motion as well, finding Prince in front of the net, before Prince made his pretty play over to Nelson.
Video: TOR@NYI: Prince takes advantage, pads Isles' lead
"It was a good bounce, but I'm just trying to skate hard. When you're moving your feet and playing well good things happen," Prince said.
Bailey ended the game with a nifty tip from the side of the net off a Nick Leddy shot. Head coach Jack Capuano was pleased with the offensive output.
"Tonight we played with some pace," head coach Jack Capuano said. "We stayed in attack mode even when they made a push."
Video: TOR@NYI: Bailey scores on redirection, pads lead
The Islanders went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill… Travis Hamonic's goal was the Islanders league-leading ninth from a defenseman this season… The Islanders wore special lavender warmup jerseys in honor of Hockey Fights Cancer night and the jerseys can be bid on via online auction. All proceeds from the jersey auction will go to charity.
The Islanders continue their five-game home stand on Tuesday night, when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. on NBCSN.