TORONTO - The effort was there for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but the result wasn't what they wanted.
Two days after interim coach Peter Horachek criticized his team for a lack of effort in a blowout loss, the Leafs showed plenty but blew a third-period lead to lose 4-3 in overtime to the New York Islanders on Monday night at Air Canada Centre.
Mississauga, Ont., native John Tavares went around several defenders to score the overtime winner. With two points, the Islanders' captain extended his NHL lead in the Art Ross Trophy race.
David Booth, Peter Holland and James van Riemsdyk scored for the Leafs (26-35-6), who got 40 saves from goaltender Jonathan Bernier.
Tyler Kennedy, Frans Nielson and Casey Cizakis scored in regulation for the Islanders (43-21-4). Kennedy's goal came in his New York debut.
With Nazem Kadri out as punishment for missing a team meeting, Horachek changed up the lines and broke up the trio of van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel. It paid off for much of the night.
Booth opened the scoring 18:23 into the first period by deking and lifting a back-hander past Michal Neuvirth. The goal was Booth's third in the past three games after one in his first 41 this season.
Less than a minute after Bernier made a big stop on Tavares, Holland followed up on a loose puck at the side of the net to make it 2-0 at the 10:27 mark of the third.
Kennedy cut the Leafs' lead in half 1:32 into the third period off a pass from Tavares. After van Riemsdyk restored Toronto's two-goal lead with a goal off the rush at 6:06, the Islanders went about erasing it.
With Booth in the penalty box, Nielsen scored at 9:58, and then Cizakis tipped a shot by defenceman Travis Hamonic past Bernier to tie it with 9:32 left.
As the Islanders buzzed around him, Bernier made two saves in the final seconds to get the game to overtime.
Notes — With Roman Polak done for the season to have hernia surgery, the Leafs called up Petter Granberg and plugged him into the lineup. ... Islanders defenceman Nick Leddy left the game with an injury after colliding with Morgan Rielly in the second period. Islanders first-round pick Michael Dal Colle was in attendance. Dal Colle has 38 goals and 49 assists in 51 games this season for OHL East Division-champion Oshawa Generals.