The New York Islanders have used late heroics to pick up some crucial points during their road trip but have also missed out on a couple more.
They’ll try to end their four-game trek by earning two on Monday night against the woeful Toronto Maple Leafs.
New York (42-21-4) opened its trip with a 3-2 overtime loss to Dallas on Tuesday but got its point when Anders Lee scored in the final seconds of regulation. Brock Nelson had the go-ahead goal in the third period in a 4-3 win over Nashville on Thursday and Josh Bailey provided a tying one in the final period Saturday against Florida.
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The Panthers, though, took a 4-3 shootout victory and denied the Islanders their 11th win in 17 games.
"You can’t win them all but we’ll take the point," forward Josh Bailey said. "Obviously, we would like to get the two points but we’ll move on and get ready for the next one."
Those late goals have helped boost the Islanders’ slim lead over the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers, who will have three games in hand heading into Monday’s action, travel to Long Island on Tuesday night.
The Islanders will try to aid themselves in that race by sending Toronto (26-35-5) to its 29th loss in 36 games since Dec. 17.
The Leafs have been outscored 20-6 while dropping four of their last five and absorbed a 6-1 drubbing by St. Louis on Saturday. They didn’t get their first shot on goal in their return from a four-game trip until midway through the first period and were denied a third straight home win.
"I think the score reflects the way we played. I don’t think there’s much more to be said," captain Dion Phaneuf said. "We gotten beaten in every aspect of the game."
Leafs forward Nazem Kadri will be a healthy scratch after coach Peter Horachek sent him home for missing a team meeting and showing up to practice 20 minutes late on Monday. Kadri, who is fourth on the team with 16 goals and 36 points, will be replaced at center by Zach Sill, who has yet to register a point in six games since being acquired from Pittsburgh.
The Leafs kept it closer with the Islanders on Feb. 12 but took a 3-2 loss after rallying from an early two-goal deficit. Lee tallied the tiebreaking goal in the second period, his second of the game, and has four in his two career matchups with Toronto.
The Islanders have won three of four over the Leafs, the lone loss a 5-2 defeat Oct. 21. New York has taken four of its last five games in Toronto and making its first visit since a 5-3 win Jan. 7, 2014.
The Islanders are expected to face Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier, 2-2-1 with a 3.20 goals-against average in five career starts against them. Bernier has allowed a combined seven goals in back-to-back defeats and hasn’t been aided by a dreadful penalty kill that’s given up 12 goals in 39 opportunities in the past nine contests.
The Leafs are also 2 for 29 on the power play in their last eight games while New York has killed off 30 of 34 penalties in its past 13. The Islanders have scored power-play goals in consecutive games after going 1 for 14 in their prior six.
Toronto’s Phil Kessel has five goals and five assists in his last six games against New York, but has one assist in his last five contests.