Anders Lee scored two goals, including the tiebreaker in the second period, and Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves for his 30th win of the season as the New York Islanders beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on Thursday night.
Lee scored in each of the first two periods, and Casey Cizikas added a goal for the Metropolitan Division-leading Islanders, who have won three straight and four of five.
Richard Panik and Trevor Smith had goals in the second period as Toronto erased a 2-0 deficit. Jonathan Bernier stopped 38 shots, but dropped his eighth straight decision. The Maple Leafs have lost 13 of 14 (1-12-1) overall and 12 straight (0-11-1) on the road.
Lee restored the Islanders' lead with 7:58 left in the second with his second of the night and 18th of the season — tying for the NHL rookie lead. Travis Hamonic fired a shot from the right point that appeared to be deflected in on Bernier. Lee got the rebound in the slot and quickly shot it in to make it 3-2.
The Maple Leafs came out with a lot more jump and effort in the second period and scored twice early to tie the game, outshooting New York 10-1 in the first half of the frame.
Panik cut the Toronto deficit in half just 1:32 in when Korbinian Holzer's hard shot sailed over the net and off the back boards. The carom came to Panik at the left post, and he calmly scored his ninth goal.
Panik was originally credited with his second of the night when the Maple Leafs got even at 4:09, but had to settle for an assist. Panik, again at the left post, sent the puck into the crease, where it was batted in by Smith for his second of the season and first in 13 games.
New York coach Jack Capuano then used his timeout with his club being outshot 6-0 in the period.
The Islanders got off to the good start they have been looking for recently in matchups against teams down in the standings — grabbing a 2-0 lead 4:03 in.
Lee got it started. He took the puck away from defenseman Cody Franson in the offensive zone, came in alone on Bernier and jammed the puck in at 1:11.
Another breakdown created an odd-man rush for the Islanders that produced Cizikas' sixth goal. Colin McDonald, who scored in each of the previous two games since being brought up from the AHL, raced down left wing and drove to the net. Bernier stopped his shot with his pads, but Cizikas swooped in to knock in the rebound.
New York kept up the pressure throughout the first period and carried an 18-8 shots advantage into the intermission. Each team had one power play in the opening stanza that failed to generate a goal.
NOTES: Toronto RW David Clarkson returned to the lineup after a two-game benching. LW Joffrey Lupul (knee) sat out and is expected to be sidelined for at least a week. ... Islanders RW Cal Clutterbuck (upper body) was back on the ice after missing two games. Harry Zolnierczyk was sent back to Bridgeport (AHL). ... The Islanders are 1-1 vs. Toronto this season but 6-2-1 in the past nine meetings.