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Islanders Top Cujo, Leafs

The New York Islanders were outplayed and outshot 39-19 by the Toronto Maple Leafs Monday night. But New York had Tommy Salo in goal, and that was enough.


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  • won us that game," Islanders coach-GM Mike Milbury said. "That was the worst game we played as a team, but Tommy was just brilliant."

    Toronto dominated the first two periods, outshooting the Islanders 27-13. But Salo, who has played in all of the Islanders' 14 games this season, put on a goaltending clinic as New York won 3-1. He made seven saves on Mats Sundin, his Swedish countryman.

    "I felt good out there, I just played my game," said Salo, who is tied for the NHL lead with seven victories this season. "Sometimes (my teammates) play well in front of me. (This time) I played really well."

    Alyn McCauley was the only Leaf to beat Salo, deflecting in a Dimitri Yushkevich floating point shot. That made the score 1-1 four minutes into the third period.

    But enforcer Gino Odjik scored the winner less than three minutes later. Kevin Miller's centering pass from the left corner deflected off Odjick's skate past Toronto goalie Curtis Joseph at 7:21.


    Trevor Linden
    The Islanders goalie Tommy Salo was able to keep the Maple Leafs off the board for most of the night. (AP)
    Lapointe and Sergei emchinov had the other Islanders' goals as the Leafs dropped to .500 (6-6-2) after a 5-1-1 start.

    "We had our chances, but the puck just wasn't going in the net," said Joseph. "Everything we directed at him was stopped."

    Joseph struggled at the other end, stopping just 16 of 19 shots. He also struggled against the New York Rangers Saturday, stopping 26 of 32 shots in a 6-6 tie.

    "I'm a firm believer that things will even out at the end of the year," Joseph said. "I didn't feel real good out there and some nights you're not going to."

    Lapointe opened the scoring 46 seconds into the third period, breaking down the right wing on a 3-on-1 and making a move on Joseph to the short side.

    Nemchinov added the insurance goal at 12:26 of the third period.

    The Islanders appeared to open the scoring at 4:14 of the first period when Bryan Smolinski's deflection of a Trevor Linden centering pass looked like it crossed the plane of the goal line before Joseph snagged the puck out of midair. Video replay officials said it was inconclusive and ruled no goal.

    The Maple Leafs had a goal of their own called back at 10:26 of the second period. Defenseman Sylvain Cote's shot from the point found the top corner behind Salo, but video replay officials ruled Toronto's Mike Johnson was in the crease.


  • New York's David Harlock registered the first two assists of his six-year pro career, which began with the Maple Leafs in 1993-94.
  • Leafs' enforcer Tie Domi played his 500th NHL game Monday. If he continues to accumulate penalty minutes at his current pace, Domi will become the league's all-time penalty-minute king by game No. 855. Dave (Tiger) Williams is the all-time leader with 3,966 minutes.
  • The Islanders have gone exclusively with Tommy Salo in goal this season. He has played each of New York's 13 games, missing just four minutes of action when the team went with an extra attacker late in games.
  • Toronto's Steve Thomas has assisted on all five of linemate Mats Sundin 's goals this season.
  • Left winger Ted Donato made his debut with the Islanders Monday playing on a line with center Robert Reichel and right winger Mariusz Czerkawski . Donato arrived in a Nov. 7 trade with the Boston Bruins for left winger Ken Belanger .
  • Toronto right winger Sergei Berezin returned to the lineup after missing four games with a hip pointer. His five goals share the team lead with Sundin and Mike Johnson .

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