Islanders fight back, but can't overcome early deficit and lose to Leafs
Official Scoresheet | Official Super Stats
The first ten minutes of the game didn't go well for the Islanders (9-7-3), who surrendered three goals in the first 9:23. They clawed back to get within one, but it wasn't enough as the Toronto Maple Leafs went on to win by the score of 4-2, Monday night at the Air Canada Centre.
Wade Belak fed an open Johnny Pohl at 2:53 of the first period for an easy one-timer to open the scoring.
The Islanders responded 2:10 later to even the score at one. Viktor Kozlov picked up a loose puck behind the net and fed Chris Simon, who blistered a shot past Andrew Raycroft for his second goal of the season.
Just 51 seconds after Simon's goal, Kyle Wellwood put the Leafs up 2-1 after an Islanders turnover. Nik Antropov skated in and fed Wellwood with Rick DiPietro down. Wellwood had an open net for his third goal of the year.
Darcy Tucker made it 3-1 on the power play with his 13th of the season. Tomas Kaberle fed a perfect pass to Tucker, who one-timed it home with 9:23 gone by in the first period.
The Islanders cut the lead to 3-2 with some tic-tac-toe passing on the power play with 3:59 left in the second. Mike Sillinger passed it to Alexei Yashin, and without hesitation, tapped it down-low to Jason Blake who slammed it home for his 11th goal of the season.
The Islanders pressured late, but couldn't come up with the equalizer, and Alexei Ponikarovsky put the game out of reach with a power play goal late in the third period to make it 4-2 Leafs.
The Islanders return home to play three games in four nights, taking on Carolina (Wednesday), Pittsburgh (Friday) and Washington (Saturday).
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Kyle Wellwood: Goal and an assist
2. Darcy Tucker: Scored the game-winner on the power play
3. Chris Simon: Scored the Islanders' first goal
4. Tomas Kaberle: One assist and played nearly half the game 29:56
5. Jason Blake: Still sizzling, scoring his 11th of the season
Stat of the Game: The Islanders won 66% of the draws.
Slapshots: The Islanders scored their first power play goal since their November 15th game at Dallas...Jason Blake has seven goals in his last ten games...The Islanders gave up more than one power play for the first time in five games.
1 Mike Dunham
39 Rick DiPietro
3 Tom Poti - 8 Bruno Gervais
32 Brendan Witt - 24 Radek Martinek
77 Alexei Zhitnik - 6 Sean Hill
12 Chris Simon - 79 Alexei Yashin - 55 Jason Blake
11 Andy Hilbert - 18 Mike Sillinger - 81 Miroslav Satan
7 Trent Hunter - 16 Mike York - 25 Viktor Kozlov
45 Arron Asham - 17 Shawn Bates - 10 Richard Park
1 Andrew Raycroft
30 Jean-Sebastien Aubin
3 Wade Belak - 24 Bryan McCabe
15 Tomas Kaberle - 73 Pavel Kubina
25 Hal Gill - 7 Ian White
23 Alexei Ponikarovsky - 80 Nik Antropov - 42 Kyle Wellwood
16 Darcy Tucker - 14 Matthew Stajan - 92 Jeff O'Neill
18 Chad Kilger - 21 Johnny Pohl - 9 Aleksander Suglobov
10 Alexander Steen - 27 Michael Peca - 33 Bates Battaglia