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Tim Stapleton's shootout goal leads Maple Leafs past Islanders

NHL.com @NHL

UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Tim Stapleton scored in the third round of the shootout in his NHL debut, leading the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-4 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

The teams traded goals in the second round, with Jeff Tambellini scoring for the Islanders and Jason Blake answering for the Maple Leafs.

The Islanders tied the game with 3:07 left in regulation when Jon Sim's shot from the right circle appeared to deflect off a Maple Leafs player and over Vesa Toskala's glove.

Ian White, Dominic Moore, Pavel Kubina and Nik Antropov scored for Toronto, while Toskala stopped 42 shots for his third straight victory.

Dean McAmmond, Sean Bergenheim and Mark Streit also scored for the Islanders, who are 4-1-3 in the last eight home games.

Toronto needed just 97 seconds to grab a 1-0 lead. White grabbed a puck along the left boards, moved to the top of the left circle and sent a wrist shot past Joey MacDonald, who made 31 saves.

The Maple Leafs did even better in the second period, increasing their lead to 2-0 with 57 seconds gone - and on a short-handed goal, no less.

Former Islander Blake led a rush and passed to Moore, who took a shot from above the left circle that got by MacDonald. The short-handed goal was just Toronto's third this season, and first on the road.

The Islanders had a golden opportunity to cut Toronto's lead when Bergenheim was awarded a short-handed penalty shot at 8:23. However, Toskala made a pad save on Bergenheim's wrist shot.

New York made it 2-1 at 14:33 on McAmmond's first goal with the Islanders as he took Bill Guerin's pass in the left circle and sent a wrist shot by Toskala.

Bergenheim made up for the penalty shot miss by tying the game with a short-handed goal at 3:30 of the final period. While killing a major for elbowing to Brendan Witt, Bergenheim stole the puck at Toronto's blue-line and broke in alone on Toskala, beating him with a backhander.

Kubina restored Toronto's lead on the same power play at 5:35 with a slap shot from the high slot. Antropov made it 4-2 at 7:05 on a close-in shot.

Streit cut the lead to 4-3 at 11:29 when he faked a slap shot from the left circle, took one stride in, and beat Toskala with a wrist shot.

Notes: New York defenceman Radek Martinek was injured with 3:20 remaining, and went to the locker room. ... Toronto's other visit to Long Island this season, the day after Christmas, resulted in injured Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro's only victory in five starts this season.

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