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game recap

Barzal hat trick helps Islanders defeat Tavares, Maple Leafs

Lehner makes 36 saves for shutout in New York's first game against former captain

by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Correspondent

Barzal notches natural hat trick

NYI@TOR: Barzal scores on rush for natural hatty

Mathew Barzal carries the puck on a two-on-one and rips a wrister into the net to earn a natural hat trick in the 2nd period

  • 01:04 •

TORONTO -- Mathew Barzal scored a natural hat trick in the second period to defeat John Tavares and the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-0 at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday. 

Robin Lehner made 36 saves for New York (20-13-4), which has won three in a row and six of its past seven games.

"You could tell before the game guys were dialed in, guys were ready to go, we knew what was at stake, knew it was a big game against one of the top teams in the League," Barzal said. "If we play like that, this team can be pretty special. Guys are just battling to win; everyone just wants to win here right now, so it's a great atmosphere."

 

[WATCH: All Islanders vs. Maple Leafs highlights]

 

Islanders coach Barry Trotz got NHL career win No. 782, tying Al Arbour for fourth on the all-time list. It was the first time the Islanders shut out the Maple Leafs in Toronto.

"We're playing a 200-feet game, we're doing all the right things, we don't take unnecessary chances," Lehner said. "We're forechecking really well and I think we're back checking really well. As long as we play that way, we're going to be successful."

Video: Lehner earns Saturday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

Tavares, who played against his former team for the first time since signing a seven-year, $77 million contract with the Maple Leafs on July 1, had five shots on goal. He played his first nine NHL seasons with the Islanders after being selected No. 1 by New York in the 2009 NHL Draft.

"There was obviously a lot of anticipation and a lot of unknown," Tavares said. "Just not really sure … I tried to handle it the best I could and be as best prepared as I could be to play. I just wish I could have played better and got a better result."

Trotz said the Islanders are focused on moving forward now."Anytime you lose a John Tavares, that's a big piece," Trotz said. "We're not looking back though; we have to look forward and that's what our organization is wanting from the players, wanting from everybody. That era is done and we're trying to create a new era."

Garret Sparks made 24 saves for Toronto (26-11-2), which had a five-game winning streak end.

Video: Enterprise Hat Trick: Barzal records natty hatty

"Everyone wanted to help John win tonight. But we didn't do a very good job here, from the coaching staff right through the players," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "Any way you look at it, we didn't play hard enough. They were better than us. I thought [Sparks] was unbelievable, actually. We gave up six Grade A's (scoring chances) in the first; we don't usually give up six Grade A's in a game. They played exactly like we expected. They were better than us. They gave us a lesson."

Valtteri Filppula gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead at 9:35 of the first period when he got between Travis Dermott and Igor Ozhiganov and shot high blocker from the slot.

Video: NYI@TOR: Filppula squeezes past defenders and scores

With an assist, Michael Dal Colle, who was recalled from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League earlier in the day, got his first NHL point.

Barzal made it 2-0 at 2:49 of the second period when he deflected Johnny Boychuk's shot from the point.

The Islanders went up 3-0 at 4:56 when Barzal one-timed a pass from Nick Leddy on the power play.

Video: NYI@TOR: Barzal rips home his second on power play

Barzal completed his hat trick at 10:33 when he shot between Sparks' pads from the slot.

"Shooting the puck, he's one of the most skilled players in the League and one of the fastest," Lehner said of Barzal, who has six goals in his past four games. "Just seeing him shooting more in practice and to start trusting his shot and having confidence in his shot, he has a good shot so he just has to keep shooting and he's going to score a lot of goals."

 

They said it

"Especially in the summer, everyone was kind of seeing us in the bottom of the League and it was a little chip on our shoulders there. We came into training camp, we knew we had a good group and a lot of depth still up front and on the back end. Our goalie has been doing a job, so it's been really good so far. We just want to keep going the way we're playing and I think we're kind of shocking the hockey world a little bit right now." -- Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier  

 

"That sour taste, kind of that like-you-got-punched-in-the-gut kind of feeling. Hopefully we can learn from this and know we have to play a lot better than we did today." -- Maple Leafs center John Tavares

 

Need to know

Barzal is the first Islanders player to have a hat trick against the Maple Leafs since Mike Bossy on March 20, 1986. Barzal (21 years, 217 days) is the third-youngest Islanders player to have a natural hat trick, joining Tavares (20 years, 117 days) and Bob Nystrom (21 years, 113 days). … Including Dal Colle (No. 5, 2014), the Islanders had seven first-round draft picks in their lineup. … The Maple Leafs sent goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo and forward Trevor Moore to Toronto of the American Hockey League after the game.

 

What's next

Islanders: At the Buffalo Sabres on Monday (6 p.m. ET; MSG-B, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Maple Leafs: Host the Minnesota Wild on Thursday (2 p.m. ET; SNO, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV)

Video: Barzal lifts Islanders to win with natural hat trick

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