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Recap: Maple Leafs 5, Islanders 4

John Tavares records his 80th point of the season in the Isles loss to the Leafs

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders

John Tavares didn't take any solace in hitting the 80-point plateau on Friday, not with it coming in a 5-4 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

Tavares hit the 80-point mark for the third time in his career with a power-play goal to make it 4-4 in the third period. The Islanders' captain last hit 80 in 2014-15, when he finished with 86, but the individual achievement didn't make up for another tough loss. 

"It's just disappointing to lose," Tavares said. "You'd like the production to lead to some good results for the team."

The Islanders and Leafs went goal for goal on Friday, but Toronto had the last laugh when Auston Matthews netted the game-winner with 3:58 to play in the third. 

Video: TOR@NYI: Tavares slams home loose puck for PPG

"It's a tough one," said Johnny Boychuk, who scored his sixth of the season. "We played pretty well and I thought we could have had a better fate." 

The Islanders led 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 in the contest, but found themselves chasing to tie it up in the third period. Anthony Beauvillier opened the scoring by converting a feed from Jordan Eberle for his 18th of the season, Boychuk powered a slap shot through traffic and Frederik Andersen for a power-play goal, while Brock Nelson finished a cross-ice feed from Andrew Ladd.

They couldn't shake the Leafs, as Nazem Kadri, Nikita Zaitsev and Mitch Marner responded with tying goals after each of the Isles first three strikes. Zaitsev's goal punctuated the Islanders recent frustrations, as his wrister from the half wall deflected off Mathew Barzal's stick and past Chris Gibson. Both Kadri's and Marner's goals were also deflections. 

Video: TOR@NYI: Nelson finishes Ladd's pretty dish

"They get some good bounces, they had some good tips and it just seemed to find a way to get in," Boychuk said. "You play hard and battle to get your goals, but they shoot the puck and get a good tip and it goes in. It is frustrating, but at the same time you have to look around and pick up sticks and make sure they don't get those tips."

James van Riemsdyk put the Leafs ahead 2:01 into the third, forcing the Isles to play catch up. Tavares tied it up on the power-play chipping in his 34th of the season at 6:28. The Islanders managed to kill off a late Boychuk penalty, but Matthews scored the eventual winner shortly after, potting a William Nylander cross-crease feed. 

Gibson, who played two seasons for Toronto's AHL affiliate, made 27 saves in the loss. Andersen made 29 in the win as the Leafs swept the season series from the Islanders. 

Video: TOR@NYI: Boychuk pots point shot for PPG

ISLES GO 11-7: 

With Josh Bailey and Casey Cizikas both out with upper-body injuries, the Islanders went with 11 forwards and seven defensemen on Friday night. Cizikas will be out for Saturday's game in New Jersey, while Bailey's status is up in the air. 

Jaroslav Halak sat out the Isles-Leafs contest with an illness. Thomas Greiss, who was activated off IR on Friday morning, backed up Gibson. 


The Islanders are back in action on Saturday night when they take on the New Jersey Devils. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. 

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