UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Trent Hunter and John Tavares scored
90 seconds apart in the second period, and Dwayne Roloson made 26 saves in the
New York Islanders' 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.
Blake Comeau was awarded a goal with 34.9 seconds left
after being taken down on a breakaway with an empty net.
The Islanders salvaged the final game of a four-game
homestand and snapped an overall four-game losing streak at Nassau Coliseum.
Niklas Hagman scored in third period for Toronto.
Jonas Gustavsson made 20 saves for the Toronto, which
lost for the fourth consecutive time away from Air Canada Centre.
Roloson, who logged a career-high 58 saves in a win over
Toronto on Nov. 23, has made 110 saves on 117 shots in three games against the
Maple Leafs this season.
Hagman ended Roloson's shutout bid with a rebound goal
1:58 into the final period. Roloson made a pad save on Tomas Kaberle's point
shot before Hagman pushed in the rebound at the left post.
Twice the red goal light accidentally went off behind
Roloson in the final five minutes. But the netminder protected the one-goal
lead, including a tricky pad save on Lee Stempniak's point-blank shot from the
slot with under 3 minutes remaining.
Comeau was driven into the boards by Francois Beauchemin
on a breakaway. Toronto pulled its goalie for the extra attacker and by rule the
officials awarded the Islanders the goal. Comeau finished a two-point night.
New York entered with just one power-play goal in 21
chances over the last five games. Yet Hunters sixth goal 12:17 into the second
capitalized on the Islanders' extra-man opportunity.
With Jeff Finger off for slashing, Hunter blasted a hard
wrist shot from the low left circle to open the scoring. The Islanders have
scored a power-play goal in two straight games after failing to log a single
goal in 17 chances in the previous four contests.
Former Islander Jason Blake appeared to tie it less than
a minute later when he batted down a high puck past Roloson. The officials
immediately waved the goal off, ruling Blake had touched the puck with a high
New York completed the momentum swing moments later when
Tavares broke his personal five-game pointless streak with a goal just 1:30
after Hunter's tally.
Comeau set up Tavares' 16th goal by rushing off the right
circle, forcing Gustavsson to commit wide. That left Tavares open in the slot to
slam the pass into the empty net for a 2-0 edge heading into second
Tavares, the No. 1 pick this year, had gone six games
without a goal before providing the insurance marker. The 19-year-old center
leads the Islanders in goals.
Toronto LW Viktor Stalberg missed the game with
an upper-body injury. Stalberg had scored two goals in three games since being
recalled from the American Hockey League Dec. 17. … Islanders LW Jeff
Tambellini was a healthy scratch for a seventh straight game. … New York wore
its white uniforms at home for just the second time this season.
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