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The New York Islanders ended their four-game road trip against the Toronto Maple Leafs yesterday, coming away with a 3-2 overtime win.
The Islanders were stuck in their own end for much of the first five minutes of the game and gave up the first six or seven shots. New York did start to build a bit of momentum though and later, Noah Dobson put a shot through traffic to beat Erik Kallgren, putting the Islanders ahead. While New York started slow, they took a 1-0 lead into the intermission.
Toronto tied it on a power play early in the second period though, with William Nylander getting the puck to John Tavares in front, who beat Ilya Sorokin. Then later in the frame, Auston Matthews was able to deflect a shot from Timothy Liljegren and it found its way past Sorokin, giving the Leafs their first lead.
New York did start to generate some good chances around the net midway through the third period but their momentum was still shut down pretty quickly. With under three minutes to go, however, Kallgren turned over the puck right to Josh Bailey who managed to beat the netminder, sending it to overtime.
The Islanders did a good job preventing any opportunities in the extra frame when they didn’t have possession and after a few chances of their own, Anthony Beauvillier capitalized, beating Kallgren over the shoulder to give New York the extra point.
New York got the win, but the Islanders really didn’t control a lot of the play, other than for a few brief stretches. They were outshot 32-24 overall and struggled to get much consistent offense going, having a hard time sustaining much zone time.
Noah Dobson continues to emerge as one of the team’s most important players though, picking up a goal and an assist in the win. He now sits with six goals and 14 points in just 20 games.
The Islanders’ defense continues to chip in as a whole this season, with defensemen accounting for 24 per cent of the team’s goals this season. It’s a big step up from the 14 per cent of goals that came from their defensemen last season.
In another quick note, Cal Clutterbuck also broke the NHL’s all-time hits record last night, now at 3,635 career hits.
It’s an important win for the Islanders after two consecutive losses to go 2-for-4 on their road trip overall. New York will be back in action tomorrow, when they face the Edmonton Oilers.
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