Leave it to the Leafs to beat some fairly respectable teams to open the season, Montreal, Ottawa, Pittsburgh and the Rangers, only to suffer their first loss to the Islanders (The 3-1-2 Isles, I should add). Nonetheless, thanks to a late Phil Kessel goal, the Leafs pick up a point in the loss and remain undefeated in regulation. It was Kessel’s 5th of the year.
The Leafs outshot the Isles 30-20 in this one, but a John Tavares OT winner was the difference. Tavares, a Mississauga native, scored on a terrific shot at 3:26 of the overtime period in his homecoming with Toronto’s Brett Lebda in the penalty box. Also helping the Isles tonight was their effort to keep Hart Trophy candidate Clarke MacArthur off the scoresheet, who registered just on shot after starting the year on a torrid pace.
Matt Moulson scored the opening goal for the Islanders, while Dwayne Roloson stopped 29 shots in the win. J.S. Giguere made 18 saves on 20 shots for Toronto. The Leafs will wait until Thursday for their next game, when they’ll face the Rangers again.