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game recap

Maple Leafs score seven against Islanders

Auston Matthews gets two goals, Frederik Andersen wins 100th NHL game

by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Auston Matthews scored twice for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 7-1 win against the New York Islanders at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday.

Frederik Andersen made 33 saves for his 100th NHL win.

"I thought he was real solid. I thought they were heavy, we didn't execute great early," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "We played good defensively, but they were heavy. I thought Freddie made some real good saves. The better the goalie plays, the more you settle down and the more you dial in. We scored timely goals, and then it got to be a real good situation for us because most games in this league you're grinding right till the bitter end."

Toronto (26-18-11) leads New York (25-20-10) by three points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

 

WATCH: All Islanders vs. Maple Leafs highlights

 

"As much as it's just one loss, that's a humbling loss, that's [a butt] kicking, I'm sorry," Islanders coach Doug Weight said. "They played a playoff game tonight; we played a hard game but we didn't play a playoff game. That's virtually what it was, right? We win, we're in the playoffs as far as statistically speaking."

Toronto allowed a goal in the first five minutes in five of its past seven games but on Tuesday took a 2-0 lead in the first period.

Josh Leivo scored his first goal of the season, in his fifth game, at 11:36 to make it 1-0. The Maple Leafs went up 2-0 with 32 seconds left when Nikita Zaitsev's shot from the point deflected off Nazem Kadri for his 21st goal of the season, an NHL career high.

Video: NYI@TOR: Kadri tips home loose puck in the crease

Kadri put a shot on net from the left-wing boards that was saved by Thomas Greiss, but the rebound went off William Nylander for a 3-0 lead at 9:26 of the second period.

Islanders forward Jason Chimera was stopped by Andersen on a breakaway at 16:55 of the second period, but Chimera was awarded a penalty shot because of a hooking call on Matt Hunwick. Chimera scored his 14th goal of the season to make it 3-1.

Matthews made it 4-1 at 5:41 when he backhanded a shot over Greiss, and Tyler Bozak made it 5-1 at 7:16.

Video: NYI@TOR: Matthews roofs a slick backhand PPG

After Matthews scored his 27th goal of the season at 11:51 for a 6-1 lead, Greiss was pulled for Jean-Francois Berube. Greiss allowed six goals on 34 shots.

Matt Hunwick scored his first of the season at 15:40 for a 7-1 lead.

 

Goal of the game

Defenseman Adam Pelech turned over the puck in the Islanders zone to Maple Leafs forward Josh Leivo, who put a wrist shot past Greiss' glove.

"It feels good," Leivo said. "Obviously I had that empty net at the start that I missed on. I was fortunate enough to get another chance and it just feels great. It's been a lot of hard work."

Video: NYI@TOR: Leivo buries quick shot from the circle

 

Saves of the game

Alan Quine skated into the Maple Leafs zone and took a wrist shot from the left faceoff dot. Andersen kicked out his left pad to make the save and then stopped a shot from Johnny Boychuk on the rebound at 16:45 of the first period to keep it 1-0.

Video: NYI@TOR: Andersen denies Quine and Boychuck

 

Highlight of the game

Matthews scored his second goal by putting in a cross-crease pass from Connor Brown.

Video: NYI@TOR: Matthews scores his second after nice steal

 

Unsung performance of the game

The Maple Leafs got caught out of position at 10:04 of the second period and gave up a 2-on-1. Islanders center John Tavares was the puck-carrier and tried to make a cross-ice pass, but defenseman Morgan Rielly sprawled to get a stick on it and deflect it out of play.

 

They said it

"You hope so, obviously that's the plan. There's so many games in general that you just have to turn the page. Obviously you lick your wounds a little bit tonight, review how we can be better tomorrow, and try to make some adjustments. Everyone be a little sharper, a little better, probably a little grittier than we were tonight for our next game." -- Islanders captain John Tavares

 

"It's nice, but it's more important for the 26 we have as a team here this year. I think that's what we worry about here, that's what we enjoy." -- Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen on his 100th NHL win

 

Need to know

Andersen is 23-12-10 in his first season with Toronto after being traded by the Anaheim Ducks. He is 100-38-22 in the NHL. … Matthews leads NHL rookies in goals and is three behind Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the overall NHL lead. … Kadri scored 20 goals for Toronto in 2013-14. … Babcock said forward Nikita Soshnikov is ready to return from an upper-body injury that has kept him out of the lineup for three games, but Leivo will remain in the lineup Wednesday.

 

What's next

Islanders: Host the New York Rangers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, MSG+2, MSG, NHL.TV)

Maple Leafs: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVA Sports, FS-O, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Matthews, Maple Leafs defeat the Islanders, 7-1

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