TORONTO — Despite the return of two key players, the New York Islanders failed to execute, per usual, as they fell 5-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs for their fifth-straight defeat.
The Islanders are now 23-21-5.
Anthony Beauvillier-Mathew Barzal-Casey Cizikas
Anders Lee-Brock Nelson-Kyle Palmieri
Zach Parise-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Josh Bailey
Matt Martin-Aatu Räty-Simon Holmstrom
Adam Pelech-Ryan Pulock
Alexander Romanov-Scott Mayfield
Samuel Bolduc-Sebastian Aho
Anders Lee gave the New York Islanders a 1-0 lead with 22.2 seconds to play in the first period as he tapped home a rebound for his 16th goal of the season. Brock Nelson and Sebastian Aho were credited with the assists.
William Nylander tied the contest at one as he sniped New York Islanders netminder Ilya Sorokin at 5:07 of the second period. John Tavares and Mark Giordano were credited with the assists.
Lee gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead as he buried a one-time feed from Kyle Palmieri for his 17th of the season and second of the game at 6:18 of the second period.
John Tavares tied the contest at two as he whizzed a backhander by Sorokin on a power-play breakaway for his 21st goal of the season. Nylander and Samsonov were credited with the assists at 7:53 of the second period.
Calle Jarnkrok gave the Leafs a 3-2 lead as he beat Sorokin on the breakaway after a strong chip pass by Nylander for his 11th goal of the season. Justin Holl was credited with the secondary assist at 9:33 of the second period.
Nylander gave the Leafs a 4-2 lead as Scott Mayfield got a piece of his shot, redirecting it past Sorokin at 16:32 of the second. That goal was unassisted following a Mayfield turnover.
Auston Matthews gets behind Pelech and beats Sorokin blocker side on the breakaway at 7:44 of the third. Holl with the secondary assist on Matthew’s 25th of the season.
Heck of a Start
With Adam Pelech back in the lineup, the New York Islanders played one of the more structured first periods of the season. The Islanders had all four lines rolling while the defense got the puck out, as well as getting up on the rush.
They did not allow the Toronto Maple Leafs to get a shot through the first eight and a half minutes of action, outshooting them 13-6. They were responsible with just two giveaways to the Leafs’ eight.
And to make the period even better, Anders Lee took advantage of a rebound.
— Isles on MSGSN (@IslesMSGN) January 24, 2023
Islanders Don’t Learn Lesson
The New York Islanders were up 1-0 after one period and up 13-6 in shots. However, when the second period came to a close, the Islanders were down 4-2 and were being outshot 28-23.
As for the learning lesson part, the Islanders defense got caught three times, leading to two goals and a penalty shot, which Michael Bunting did not convert on.
The Scott Mayfield-Alexander Romanov had a tough night, with a few mistakes ending up in the back of the net. Adam Pelech and Ryan Pulock didn’t have much success either.
In the third period, Pulock got caught, and Matthews gave the Leafs a 5-2 lead.
So, three goals on the defense not paying attention to players getting behind them.
UP NEXT: The New York Islanders are in Ottawa to face the Senators at 7 PM ET.