"Tommy NHL features:
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.
| The Islanders goalie Tommy Salo was able to keep the Maple Leafs off the board for most of the night. (AP) |
"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.
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