Isles comeback falls short against Leafs, lose 5-4 in OT

Toronto Maple Leafs' Clarke MacArthur (16) and Mikhail Grabovski (84) watch the puck shot by Dion Phaneuf go past New York Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov (20) and Travis Hamonic (3) to score in overtime of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. The Maple Leafs won 5-4. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

Kathy Kmonicek/AP

Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov watches the puck go by him and through the net to give the Maple Leafs a 5-4 overtime victory.


UNIONDALE–Nazem Kadri notched his first career hat trick and Dion Phaneuf scored at 1:11 of overtime to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 5-4 victory over the New York

Islanders on Thursday night.

Phaneuf’s fourth goal of the season lifted Toronto to its third straight win and fourth in five games at New York. The Maple Leafs have six wins in their last nine games against the


Andrew Theodorakis/New York Daily News

Dion Phaneuf (l.) celebrates with teammate Korbinian Holzer as Islanders’ John Tavares stares in the background.

Islanders. James van Riemsdyk also scored for the Maple Leafs, who improved to 9-4 on the road.

New York rallied on third-period goals by Andrew MacDonald and Kyle Okposo after Kadri finished his hat trick to put Toronto up 4-2 at the 14:12 mark of the second. The

Islanders also got goals from Josh Bailey in the first period and Lubomir Visnovsky in the second.


The Islanders finally forged a point at home after losing their first two contests on the current seven-game homestand. They had just five points in 11 home games before tonight. The 22-year-old Kadri — Toronto’s first-round pick in 2009 — scored at 8:31 of the first period to tie the game at 1. He scored to tie it again midway through the second two minutes after defenseman Visnovsky gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead. Van Riemsdyk broke the tie with his team-leading 12th goal at 10:25 of the second before Kadri made it 4-2.


Andrew Theodorakis/ New York Daily News

The Islanders Josh Bailey scores a goal in the first period of Thursday’s game. 

That made Kadri the first Toronto player to record a hat trick at Nassau Coliseum since Paul Henderson did it on Feb. 20, 1974. Kadri has eight goals and 13 assists to lead the Leafs. Bailey, Visnovsky and MacDonald all scored their first goals of the season for the Islanders.

Bailey opened the scoring on the first shot by the Islanders at 3:34 of the first period. Okposo did the work along the left boards, sidestepping a Leafs defenseman and backhanding a pass to Bailey in the slot. Bailey beat James Reimer in a rare productive moment from a combination other than John Tavares and Matt Moulson, who have combined for a league-leading 23 goals.

Visnovsky scored his first goal as an Islander at 6:22 of the second with a slap shot from the right point that flew over Reimer’s right shoulder. MacDonald made it 4-3 with his first of the season on a one-timer at 5:31 of the third, before Okposo scored an unassisted goal on a wrist shot at 10:08 to the tie the game at 4. It was the second goal of the season for Okposo, who added two assists.

Reimer (7-3-0) was making his first start since Feb. 11 after missing eight games with a knee injury. He made 23 saves. Ben Scrivens had made the last eight starts for Toronto. Kadri’s first goal came on a slick move. The speedy center skated down the left wing and held the puck as he shifted to the middle of the slot, then whipped the puck past Evgeni Nabokov. His second came from the top of slot on a shot that appeared screen Nabokov.

The hat trick was achieved as Kadri fell to the left of Nabokov. The achievement generated a smattering of blue and white Leafs hats tossed onto the ice.

Islanders winger Michael Grabner hit the post on a rush off the opening faceoff of overtime. Grabner also was awarded a penalty shot at the 15:56 mark of the first when he was pulled down by Phil Kessel. Grabner missed the net on his second penalty shot try this season. He also was denied by New Jersey’s Johan Hedberg on Feb. 3.

NOTES: Toronto has a rare three-day break before the team’s next game on Monday at home against New Jersey… The Islanders won the previous meeting between the teams, 7-4 in Toronto on Jan. 24. The Islanders and Maple Leafs conclude the season series April 18 at Air Canada Centre… Nabokov has started all but four Islanders games this season. He finished with 23 saves. 

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