Nylander helps Maple Leafs beat slumping Islanders 5-2

Jan 23, 2023, 5:13 AM | Updated: 8:42 pm
New York Islanders center Kyle Palmieri (21) crashes into Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samso...

New York Islanders center Kyle Palmieri (21) crashes into Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov as Leafs right wing Pontus Holmberg (29) and Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) battle during third-period NHL hockey game action in Toronto, Ontario, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

(Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

              New York Islanders center Kyle Palmieri (21) crashes into Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov as Leafs right wing Pontus Holmberg (29) and Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) battle during third-period NHL hockey game action in Toronto, Ontario, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Justin Holl (3), New York Islanders center Kyle Palmieri (21) and Maple Leafs right wing William Nylander (88) race toward the puck during first-period NHL hockey game action in Toronto, Ontario, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) celebrates after his goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs with teammates Anthony Beauvillier (18) and Brock Nelson (29) during first-period NHL hockey game action in Toronto, Ontario, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov (35) stops New York Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) as Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) falls on the ice during third-period NHL hockey game action in Toronto, Ontario, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              New York Islanders centre Kyle Palmieri (21) crashes into Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov as Leafs right wing Pontus Holmberg (29) and Islanders left wing Anders Lee (27) battle during third-period NHL hockey game action in Toronto, Ontario, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) reaches for the puck against New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) as Maple Leafs center John Tavares (91) is pushed into the net during second-period NHL hockey game action in Toronto, Ontario, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Maple Leafs, center Calle Jarnkrok (19) scores against the New York Islanders during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Toronto on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Michael Bunting (58) is awarded a penalty shot as he taken down by New York Islanders defenseman Alexander Romanov (28) in front of Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) during second-period NHL hockey game action in Toronto, Ontario, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) watches the puck as Toronto Maple Leafs center Calle Jarnkrok (19) battles in front of the net during second-period NHL hockey game action in Toronto, Ontario, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Maple Leafs players celebrate after a goal by teammate Calle Jarnkrok, right, against the New York Islanders during second-period NHL hockey game action in Toronto, Ontario, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov (35) makes a save against the New York Islanders during first-period NHL hockey game action in Toronto, Ontario, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Maple Leafs centerJohn Tavares (91) celebrates after his goal against the New York Islanders with teammate William Nylander (88) during second-period NHL hockey game action in Toronto, Ontario, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
            
              Toronto Maple Leafs right wing William Nylander (88) celebrates after his goal against the New York Islanders with teammate John Tavares (91) during second-period NHL hockey game action in Toronto, Ontario, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) — William Nylander had two goals and two assists as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the slumping New York Islanders 5-2 on Monday night.

John Tavares had a goal and an assist, Calle Jarnkrok and Auston Matthews also scored and Justin Holl had two assists for Toronto, which is 3-0-1 in its last four and 6-2-1 in its last nine. Ilya Samsonov had 31 saves.

Anders Lee scored twice for New York in its ninth loss in 10 games (1-6-3). Ilya Sorokin had 33 saves.

The Maple Leafs 1-0 after one period and coach Sheldon Keefe tweaked his top-6 forward group during the first intermission, reuniting Tavares and Nylander, and slotting Mitch Marner alongside Matthews.

“I don’t think a lot had to be said (in the intermission) other than pointing out the obvious, but it’s on the players,” Keefe said. “They did the talking and, more importantly, just came out on the ice way more focused.”

Toronto tied it at 5:07 of the second when Nylander scored off the rush after a nice play from Tavares.

“We decided to battle and compete a little bit more,” Nylander said of the team’s play in the second period. “That’s what took over the game.”

Lee put New York back ahead 1:10 later on a one-timer that fooled Samsonov for his 17th.

Toronto it on a power play at 7:53 when Samsonov caught the Islanders on a long change with a stretch pass. Nylander quickly fed Tavares, who moved in alone and backhanded his 21st goal of the season upstairs against his former team.

“I wasn’t expecting it, to be honest,” Tavares said of Samsonov’s quick strike. “Happy I got back onside because he sends it up there quickly.”

Keefe had a lot of praise for Tavares’ play in the second period.

“Best period John Tavares has played all season,” Keefe said. “That got Willie going. Willie finished the chances and Willie was good. But I thought J.T. was excellent.”

The Leafs, who lost 3-2 in overtime to the Islanders here on Nov. 21, then took their first lead 1:40 later when Nylander used a delicate flip pass to send Jarnkrok in alone to score his 11th.

Sorokin stopped Michael Bunting’s penalty shot later in the period, but Nylander buried his second of the night and 26th overall with 3:28 left in the middle period after stealing the puck from Scott Mayfield in the offensive zone.

Matthews sealed the win with his 25th at 7:44 of the third on a breakaway off a pass from Holl.

“Our details and our awareness cost us,” Islanders coach Lane Lambert said. “We’ve got to just absolutely get past that and clean it up.”

New York opened the scoring with 22.2 seconds left in the first when Lee swatted home a loose puck in the crease for his 16th after Brock Nelson’s shot glanced off the Samsonov’s shoulder and hit the post.

The Toronto goaltender was sharp on a number of chances earlier in the period, including a terrific blocker stop at full stretch on Casey Cizikas.

SAMSONOV ON A RUN

Samsonov made his third straight start and fourth straight appearance. Samsonov came in 14-4-2 record and a .919 save percentage, while Matt Murray was 11-5-0 with a .911 save percentage as part of Toronto’s goaltending tandem.

DEBUTS AND RETURNS

New York D Samuel Boldoc made his NHL debut. The 22-year-old from Quebec had eight goals and 26 points in 40 AHL games this season. … Also, Islanders F Kyle Palmieri and D Adam Pelech returned to the lineup after long injury absences.

UP NEXT

Islanders: At Ottawa on Wednesday night to wrap up a two-game trip.

Maple Leafs: Host the New York Rangers on Wednesday night in the second of a five-game trip.

___

AP NHL: www.apnews.com/hub/NHL and www.twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Nylander helps Maple Leafs beat slumping Islanders 5-2