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Jason Blake's three-point night helps push Maple Leafs past Islanders 4-2

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TORONTO - Jason Blake scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and set up two others, including Jeremy Williams' insurance marker in the third, as the Toronto Maple Leafs ended a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory Monday over the New York Islanders.

Ian White and Nikolai Kulemin also scored for the Maple Leafs (10-12-6), who completely dominated play but were forced to nurse slim leads most of the night because of the strong play of opposing goaltender Joey McDonald and two fluky goals versus their own netminder, Vesa Toskala.

McDonald, making his 17th straight start, stopped 33 shots and was perhaps the only bright spot for the Islanders (10-15-2), who looked thoroughly disinterested most of the night in losing for the fifth time in six games.

Still, goals by Mike Sillinger and Bill Guerin left them one shot away from better things until Williams fired home Blake's cross-ice pass 8:21 into the third to put the Leafs up 4-2.

Williams, called up from the American Hockey League on Sunday, also collected an assist and helped form a solid unit with Blake and Dominic Moore.

The Maple Leafs headed into the third period before a crowd of 19,309 doing something they haven't done much of lately - protecting a lead.

Blake, who now has six points in his last three games, put the Leafs up for the third time in the hockey game with a lovely goal with 1:39 left in the second. He took a brilliant thread pass from Williams, cut in off the right wing and fired a shot past McDonald's stick side for a 3-2 edge.

The Leafs' first two leads didn't last very long.

Sillinger tipped in a previously deflected point shot past Toskala for first of season at 16:07, just over three minutes after White fired home Stralman's feed from the point on a power play at 12:56.

In the first, Kulemnin opened the scoring four minutes in when he came off the bench on a line change, skated into the slot and slipped Alexei Ponikarovsky's pass by McDonald.

Kulemin's goal gave the Maple Leafs an 8-0 edge in shots, but the Islanders answered just 12 seconds later as Guerin tipped Freddy Meyer's dribbling point shot past a stunned Toskala.

While McDonald needed to make save after save to keep the Islanders in it, Toskala found himself with very little to do. He did come up with a big save midway through second period, when Tim Jackman stole the puck from White and broke in alone, only to be turned away.

He also made a nice stop on Sillinger early in the third.

Notes: Leafs rookie defenceman Luke Schenn (lower body) and Niklas Hagman (concussion) sat out with injuries they sustained in Saturday's 2-1 loss to Washington. Defenceman Jamie Sifers, making his NHL debut, and Williams, in his first NHL action this season, took their place. ... Williams' assist was his first in the NHL. He collected four goals in his first 20 NHL games. ... Doug Weight's assist on Guerin's first-period goal leaves him six points shy of the 1,000 mark in his career.

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