The NY Islanders spoil John Tavares and the Maple Leafs milestone moment

Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Islanders
Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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It was a historic night at UBS Arena, as Toronto Maple Leafs captain and former NY Islanders captain John Tavares became the 98th player in NHL history to record 1,000 career points.

There was speculation all day around whether Tavares would reach the milestone against his former club amid the boobirds raining down from the crowd, as the wounds have yet to heal from the former savior of the franchise spurning Long Island to return to his childhood home.

The moment wasn't short of dramatic, as a second period goal by Tavares put him just one point shy of the mark entering the third. As the Isles clung to a 3-2 lead throughout the final stanza, the Leafs pulled Ilya Samsonov in favor of an extra attacker, sending an onslaught of shots towards Ilya Sorokin. Despite turning aside a flurry of opportunities, a William Nylander shot from the point deflected off Tavares, and Morgan Reilly buried the goal from the right of Sorokin's crease with under seven seconds remaining. The Maple Leafs bench cleared to celebrate the momentous occasion with their captain, as the Islanders sat and watched, wondering how they'd just squandered another lead in the waning moments.

The Islanders recognized the moment, posting a graphic of Tavares donning the Islander threads with the number 1,000, as his former teammates like Cal Clutterbuck tapped his stick in congratulations, with some of the fans in attendance giving a standing ovation while others booed. Tavares himself acknowledged both the Islanders players and fans who showed him support. Making the moment even more special was his father was in attendance with the rest of the Leafs' dads for their annual father's trip.

“The uniqueness of doing it where I played my first nine years of my career and a big part of who I am and the way this place impacted me, it was tremendous," said Tavares. "So, really unique and cool to do it here.”

The final seconds ticked off the clock, as the Islanders secured a point in for the 13th time in their last 14 games, but a crucial second point was still up for grabs.

Just seconds into the extra frame, the always-dangerous Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner entered the zone 2-on-1 against Noah Dobson. Dobson got a stick on the puck and deflected it towards Sorokin, who pushed the puck to the side, where Dobson retrieved it and sent it up the ice to Mat Barzal. The Isles entered the zone with a 2-on-1 of their own with Barzal and Bo Horvat, where Barzal sent a nifty saucer pass past Reilly to Horvat, who roofed a shot past Samsonov to give the Isles the 4-3 victory and their third straight win.

Tavares, the ultimate competitor who just celebrated a moment few players in history ever have looked dejected on the bench. A crowd that was disappointed moments earlier was in an uproar, as the Islanders were the ones who got the last laugh on the night.

Tavares was the face of the Islanders franchise for nine seasons after he was drafted first overall in 2009, scoring 621 points in blue and orange. What made the ending even sweeter for the Isles was the fact that a player in Horvat, who committed to the Islanders for 8-years in the prime of his career, and Barzal, whom Tavares famously coined 'the kid who won the Calder,' we're the two who sent the Leafs home without the second point.

“Barzal and I looked at each other and just said, 'Chance to be the heroes, I guess, tonight,' and he made a heck of a play to get it over to me, and I had to put it in the net from there,” Horvat said.