The Upshot: NY Islanders win again in OT; top John Tavares and Maple Leafs 4-3

Dec 11, 2023; Elmont, New York, USA; New York Islanders center Kyle Palmieri (21) celebrates his
Dec 11, 2023; Elmont, New York, USA; New York Islanders center Kyle Palmieri (21) celebrates his / Thomas Salus-USA TODAY Sports


Mathew Barzal set up Bo Horvat for the game-winning goal 46 seconds into overtime as the New York Islanders defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 at UBS Arena on Monday night. Toronto tied the game when Morgan Reilly scored with just seven seconds left. John Tavares, who scored earlier in the game, picked up an assist and earned his 1,000th career NHL point. Brock Nelson, Casey Cizikas, and Kyle Palmieri all had goals for the Islanders (13-7-7), who have points in 12 of their last 13 games. Ilya Sorokin made 34 saves in the win. Mitch Marner had two assists, Auston Matthews scored, and Ilya Samsonov made 27 saves for the Leafs.


Lane Lambert called Bo Horvat an elite player in the post-game. The Isles' top-line center has points in seven straight games and is looking every bit the leader and player the Islanders thought they were getting when they acquired him from the Vancouver Canucks last January.

"We have a lot of belief in here, a lot of really good hockey players and a lot of guys stepping up in big ways and different guys too," Horvat said. "And that's where you need to win hockey games and that's what we're doing right now."


The Islanders played a strong third period; they really did. This blown lead wasn't a result of them sitting back, taking bad penalties, or giving up a bad goal. However, they couldn't win a key face-off late in the game and, therefore, were hemmed in their own zone, defending 6-om-5 for much of the final two minutes. Sorokin made a couple of what appeared to be game-saving saves, but one last face-off win led to a shot into traffic that Reilly found to tie the game.

They are trending the right direction on how they're playing the majority of the final 20 minutes, but still haven't figured out how to finish a game when defending 6-on-5. Scoring an empty net goal for the first time all season would help.


Per NHL PR, John Tavares became the sixth player in NHL history to record his 1,000th career regular-season point in a game against his former franchise. He joined Marian Hossa versus Ottawa on Oct. 30, 2014, Keith Tkachuk versus Atlanta on Nov. 30, 2008, Alexander Mogilny versus Buffalo on March 15, 2004, Brian Propp versus Philadelphia on March 19, 1994 and Johnny Bucyk versus Detroit on Nov. 9, 1972. Mogilny achieved the feat as a member of the Maple Leaf.


We known we are supposed to be against everything Tavares related, but the Isles won, so perhaps you can appreciate his father Joe in attendance watching his son earning his 1,000th point.


The Islanders continue their six game home stand on Wednesday night against the Anaheim Ducks.

Face-off from UBS Arena in Elmont, NY is set at 7:30 p.m.