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Leafs top Islanders on Kessel's goal

Feb 23, 2011 - 6:58 AM
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Phil Kessel scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period, lifting the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders.

Clarke MacArthur also scored, while James Reimer made 28 saves for the Maple Leafs, who have won three of four.

"I think the key to the game for us was definitely James in goal," said Toronto head coach Ron Wilson. "He played great, made himself big, and the goal they scored, he had no chance on it."

Matt Moulson scored for the sixth time in his last three games, but it wasn't enough to give the Islanders a third consecutive win. Al Montoya stopped 23 shots in the setback.

With time winding down, Kessel moved into the New York zone along the left side of the ice with the puck. A few strides after crossing the blue line, Kessel cut to the slot and wristed a shot by Montoya with 4:41 on the clock. Montoya did not appear to be screened on the play.

"It's a big goal for Phil," said Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf. "He's been playing well, getting a lot of chances. It's good to see the puck going in for him."

Reimer stopped all nine shots he faced in the third period to secure the victory in a game, in which Montoya said the Islanders didn't get the necessary breaks to win.

"We needed that one bounce to go our way," Montoya said. "The puck wasn't going in the net for us tonight. I knew I was going to have to shut the door, and they came down and they got a good break."

The game got off to a blazing start with a frantic pace. It wasn't the cleanest hockey -- both teams frequently turned the puck over -- but it did result in both teams getting chances.

Before even one minute had gone by, Montoya needed to make a save on Joffrey Lupul, who skated in on a short breakaway that was the result of a turnover.

That pace carried on for the first 10 minutes, and Toronto got on the board shortly thereafter, when Nikolai Kulemin and MacArthur led a Leafs rush into the Islanders' zone.

Kulemin dropped a pass to his right for MacArthur, who ripped a shot over Montoya's shoulder into the upper right corner of the net at 10:13.

New York got on the board 8:09 into the second period, while on the power play. Moulson knocked down a shot near the crease, then skated into the slot before firing in a backhand.

Game Notes

New York was 1-for-6 on the power play, while Toronto went 0-for-3...The Leafs have won two of the three meetings (2-0-1) this season.