NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at Toronto
(Thursday, March 4th)
Final Score: Toronto 6, NY Islanders 2
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Brian Leetch assisted on three power-play goals in his Toronto debut, leading the Maple Leafs to a 6-2 victory over the New York Islanders at Air Canada Centre.
Bryan McCabe scored twice and added an assist for the Leafs, who have won three straight after losing three in a row. Gary Roberts, Mats Sundin and Robert Reichel each contributed a goal and an assist, while Darcy Tucker chipped in a goal.
Ed Belfour needed to make just 16 saves in the victory.
Trent Hunter and Mark Parrish scored late goals for the Islanders, who are winless in their last three (0-1-1-1) and are just 1-2-2-1 in their last six. Rick DiPietro stopped 18 shots in defeat.
Leetch, acquired from the New York Rangers on Wednesday, set up a pair of power-play goals in the first period to give the Leafs a 2-0 lead.
"Everything went well right off the bat," said Leetch. "It made it a lot easier for me."
At 7:02 of the first, Leetch was pressured at the right point and sent a weak shot toward the net. Roberts was able to chip the puck from just below the right circle to Sundin, who quickly fired it home from the left side of the crease for his 26th goal.
Just over five minutes later, Leetch had the puck at the right point and sent it across to the left point for McCabe, who rifled a one-timer past a screened DiPietro for his first goal of the game.
The Leafs added their third goal of the period with just 58 seconds to play. Reichel took an outlet pass from Aki Berg and raced into the New York zone along the left wing. He faked a shot at the top of the left circle to draw DiPietro out of the crease, then skated lower for a sharp-angle shot into the empty cage.
Toronto also played strong defensively in the opening period, limiting New York to just two shots. The Islanders then had only four shots in a scoreless second period.
Roberts scored his 23rd goal of the season midway through the third. He was in front and redirected a point shot by Karel Pilar under DiPietro.
Toronto cashed in a two-man advantage with 7:56 left to make it 5-0. Leetch faked a shot from just above the left circle and in the same motion threw a pass to the top of the right circle for McCabe, who ripped a one-timer home for his 15th goal of the season.
"I expect him to have a four- or five-point night from here on in every night," quipped Maple Leafs head coach Pat Quinn. "He was very good."
The Islanders spoiled Belfour's shutout bid with 4:12 remaining when Hunter cashed in a power play for his 23rd goal of the season.
Toronto answered just 42 seconds later. McCabe's point shot was stopped in front and Reichel fired the rebound off Tucker's leg into the net. Tucker was credited with his 20th goal of the season.
New York added another power-play goal in the final minute when Parrish scored his 15th of the year by tipping a point shot past Belfour.
Toronto's Joe Nieuwendyk left the game after the first period with back spasms and did not return...Pilar added two assists, giving the Toronto defensemen a total of nine points on the night...Sundin has a league-best 34 third-period points this season. He also notched his 22nd multi-point game this season, tying him for the most with Colorado's Joe Sakic and Alex Tanguay...Tucker recorded his third career 20-goal season...The Leafs finished 3-for-7 on the power play and are 7-for-20 in their last four games...New York was 2-for-3 with the extra skater...The Isles and Leafs, who could meet in the playoffs, split the four-game season series, each winning twice on home ice.
03/05 00:39:14 ET