New York Islanders Pick Up Huge Two Points In Toronto Behind A Tavares Game Winner
While most of the game had the entire land of Long Island uttering words our kids should never hear, John Tavares and the Islanders cleaned it up.
Thanks to another hard-working turnaround by the New York Islanders, they escaped from Toronto with two points.
It wasn’t pretty and had many Long Islanders cursing at the television tonight, but captain John Tavares, with his family in the stands, put the game winner past Jonathan Bernier with just over 20 seconds to go to knock off the terrible Maple Leafs.
3 Stars of the Game:
- John Tavares (NYI) – 1 Goal, 1 Assist
- James van Riemsdyk (TOR) – 1 Goal, 1 Assist
- Josh Bailey (NYI) – 2 Assists
The first two periods sported uncharacteristic play from the Isles – no forecheck, defensive breakdowns all over the place, and sluggish energy. Michal Neuvirth once again didn’t look totally in tune as Toronto jumped out to a 2-0 lead after two periods of play.
As the third began, however, New York once again assumed their most familiar position of stealing points on the road.
Newly acquired Tyler Kennedy cut the lead to one only 1:32 into the period.
But just as quickly and Kennedy got his team fired up, James van Riemsdyk did the same for the Leafs as he shot down the left side and took an uncontested wrist shot that just barely beat Neuvirth over the glove side. It was the veteran’s 22nd of the season.
Down 3-1 on the road is where the Isles thrive.
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Within a span of 30 seconds, Frans Nielsen and Casey Cizikas each scored to tie the game at around the midway point of the final frame. The Nielsen goal happened to be a lucky bounce on the power play after a bonehead offensive zone penalty on David Booth of Toronto, and Cizikas deflected one in and was rewarded after he began the play with a terrific forecheck in behind the net.
Shortly after that the Islanders once again saw defensive breakdowns galore. Neuvirth though came up with two huge glove saves to keep it even at two.
Through a scoreless first four and a half minutes of overtime, this one seemed destined for the shootout where the newly acquired goalie would have to step up. A funny thing happened along the way though as captain Tavares displayed his usual greatness and ended the game on a terrific put-back for his league leading 73rd point of the season.
In a matter of 45 minutes the Isles went from completely depressed to ecstatic. They’ll look to carry that momentum into tomorrow night’s showdown with the hated New York Rangers.
It’ll be a big one as the Isles currently lead the Rangers by three points in the Metropolitan with the Rangers having an incredible four games in their back pocket.
On a side note, defenseman Nick Leddy left the game in the second period with an injury and didn’t return.
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