Maple Leafs 3, Islanders 2

Jason Blake knocked home a bouncing puck with less than 5

minutes remaining against his former team, and the Toronto Maple

Leafs held on for a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders on

Wednesday night.

Dwayne Roloson stole a win the last time New York visited

Toronto, stopping 58 shots on Nov. 23. The Islanders were a little

unfortunate this time as Blake’s winning goal came when the puck

hit fellow forward Mikhail Grabovski’s skate in the corner and

squirted in front.

Francois Beauchemin and Ian White also had goals for Toronto


John Tavares, the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, had both

goals for the Islanders (11-13-7) for the second straight night,

but neither effort was enough for a win. New York was beaten 6-2 at

Philadelphia on Tuesday.

The 19-year-old Tavares, an Ontario native, has 15 goals in 31


Roloson wasn’t tested nearly as much during this visit to

Toronto. Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson was hoping for an early goal

to keep him from feeling “invincible” in the building.

He got his wish after Matt Moulson took the first of two minor

penalties in the opening period.

Beauchemin one-timed Tomas Kaberle’s pass through traffic that

beat Roloson between the legs at 6:04. It was Toronto’s first

power-play goal in five games.

The Leafs went ahead 2-0 just 1 second after Moulson stepped out

the penalty box following his second penalty. Ian White scored his

fifth goal of the season by wiring a shot over Roloson’s right pad

at 14:40.

That provided a seemingly comfortable lead over the Islanders,

who finished a stretch in which they played 14 of 17 on the


Toronto’s Vesa Toskala wasn’t tested much through 40 minutes,

although he made a couple nice saves on Kyle Okposo in the second


The game tightened after the Islanders were given a lengthy

5-on-3 period early in the third period. Tavares scored his first

of the night by scoring from in close at 1:32.

He pumped his left fist after netting a goal against his

favorite childhood team for the first time. It didn’t take long for

the second.

Tavares tied it 2-2 at 11:54 on another Islanders power play,

tapping home a nice pass from Okposo. All four of his goals in his

two-night spurt were scored from about 5 feet away from the net. He

leads NHL rookies in goals.

The Maple Leafs had a power-play opportunity shortly after, but

couldn’t get a shot past Roloson. Blake, who played for the

Islanders from 2001-07 before signing with Toronto, scored his

fifth of the season at 15:55.

The Maple Leafs are 6-2 since their loss to the Islanders last

month, and have moved within five points of eighth place in the

Eastern Conference.

NOTES: Leafs D Jeff Finger was a healthy scratch for the second

straight game. … Toronto D Luke Schenn played his 100th NHL game.

… Tavares got caught out for a shift that lasted more than 2

minutes in the second period.