Matt Moulson scored a power-play goal with just over six minutes to play Tuesday as the New York Islanders beat Toronto 5-2, handing the Leafs their eighth straight loss at Air Canada Centre.
P.A. Parenteau brought down a chorus of boos from the disgruntled locals by scoring an insurance marker on a breakaway less than two minutes later. Moulson scored his second of the night into an empty net.
It was another poor performance for a Leafs team that endured its worst loss of the season just 24 hours earlier - getting hammered 8-0 in Boston on Monday night. Toronto managed just 27 shots combined between those games.
Josh Bailey and David Ullstrom also had goals for the Islanders (30-32-11). John Tavares added three assists and Parenteau picked up two. Phil Kessel
and Matthew Lombardi replied for Toronto (32-34-8), which fell to 4-15-2 since Feb. 7.
The Leafs looked completely out of gas at the end of a punishing stretch that saw them play seven times in 11 nights. They managed just nine shots on goal through 40 minutes - Toronto had seven in the first two periods during Monday's loss in Boston - but still went to the final period with a chance to win.
However, New York dominated the 20 minutes and took advantage of a delay of game penalty to Matt Frattin
to secure the victory. Moulson planted himself at the top of the crease and scored his 31st of the season at 13:56.
Parenteau made sure that would stand up by racing out of his zone to collect a loose puck and somehow squeezing a shot past Reimer to make it 4-2.
With both teams essentially playing out the string, there was very little on the line. A number of fans decided to stay home - there were clusters of empty seats in the lower bowl - and the building was even quieter than usual as a result.
Kessel opened the scoring at 10:27 of the first period with a wrist shot that went in and out so quickly it had to be confirmed by video review. It was the 36th goal of the season for the Leafs sniper, tying a career high.
The Islanders evened things up less than five minutes later when Tavares made a nice move to feed Bailey on the rush. He lifted the puck over James Reimer
Lombardi put Toronto back ahead 2-1 early in the second period, taking the puck out from behind the net and beating Evgeni Nabokov with a backhander at 4:12. But a Mike Komisarek
turnover resulted in Ullstrom finishing off a nice pass from Michael Grabner to make it 2-2 after 40 minutes. Notes:
Toronto's last home win came Feb. 6 over Edmonton ... Cody Franson
and Mike Brown
were scratched for the Leafs ... Veteran defencemen Jay Pandolfo and Milan Jurcina sat out for the Islanders ... Tyler Bozak
picked up his 100th NHL point with an assist on Kessel's goal ... Lombardi suited up for his 500th career game ... Announced attendance was 19,351.