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Islanders 7, Stars 3

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UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Center John Tavares scored his fifth career hat trick Monday night, when the New York Islanders rode a season-high four-goal second period to a 7-3 win over the Dallas Stars at Nassau Coliseum.

The seven goals were also a season high for the Islanders, who trailed 2-0 after one before mounting their third multi-goal comeback in their last five games. The Islanders came back from a 3-0 deficit in a 5-4 win over Minnesota on Dec. 29 and were down 3-1 before beating Boston 5-3 on Dec. 31.

The first career goal by rookie center Ryan Strome began the second-period outburst for the Islanders (15-22-7), who head into a season-long six-game road trip with four wins in their last five games. New York is nine points behind Washington for the last playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division.

The four-goal period was the first for the Islanders since Jan. 24, 2013.

Tavares and centers Peter Regin and Brock Nelson scored later in the second -- Nelson's goal in the final 30 seconds giving the Islanders the lead for good -- before defenseman Brian Strait and Tavares scored in a span of 5:05 early in the third period.

Backup goaltender Kevin Poulin made 15 saves in earning the win in relief of Evgeni Nabokov, who left less than seven minutes into the first period due to a lower-body injury. Nabokov missed 12 games earlier this season with a groin injury.

Left wingers Jamie Benn and Erik Cole and right winger Valeri Nichushkin scored for the Stars (20-15-7), who have lost three in a row and four of their last five (1-3-1). Goaltender Kari Lehtonen made 36 saves.

The Stars led 2-0 after one despite being outshot 14-10. Dallas got on the board 5:01 into the game when Benin stole the puck from Islanders defenseman Matt Donovan behind the Islanders' net and beat Nabokov.

Nabokov was injured during a scrum in the net about four minutes later, when he made a kick save and then lunged across the goalmouth to make another save. Nabokov remained down for a few minutes and initially stayed in the game, but he left during the next stoppage in play.

The Stars needed less than a minute to get to Poulin and double their lead when Cole's shot threaded a group of players in the goalmouth and past a shielded Poulin.

The Islanders energized the crowd of 11,111 by scoring three unanswered goals in the first 10 minutes of the second.

Strome's goal, off a rebounded shot by left winger Thomas Vanek, pulled the Islanders within 3-1 just 1:41 into the period.

Moments after Tavares nearly tied it with a spectacular 1-on-3 effort, the Islanders' captain evened the score when he took a no-look pass from Vanek -- who had picked up the puck when Stars center Rich Peverley whiffed trying to clear it -- and deposited it past Lehtonen.

The Islanders took the lead at the 9:29 mark, when center Josh Bailey's shot bounced off Lehtonen and back to Bailey, who passed quickly to Regin, who scored his first goal since Oct. 8.

The Stars tied it in the waning seconds of a power play with 4:32 left, when Peverley's jab was turned back by Poulin before Nichushkin put in the rebound.

Cole earned the power play for the Stars when he leveled Islanders center Casey Cizikas and then shoved him as Cizikas tried getting up. Cizikas was whistled for holding when he responded by lifting up Cole and slamming him to the ice.

The Islanders went into the locker room with the lead, though thanks to an impressive individual effort in the final minute of the period by Nelson. Following a turnover in the neutral zone, Nelson maneuvered the puck through Stars defensemen Alex Goligoski and Brenden Dillon and fired it past Lehtonen with 28 seconds remaining.

The teams opened the third period in the 4-on-4 due to roughing penalties on Vanek and Stars defenseman Jordie Benn. Stars defenseman Trevor Daley had two chances to tie the score, but Poulin gloved his slap shot moments before Islanders defenseman Calvin De Haan hit Daley as he went in for a breakaway attempt.

The Islanders almost immediately added to the lead when Tavares deked Cole at center ice and dished to Strait, who scored his second goal of the year 1:24 into the period.

Tavares gave the Islanders a 6-3 lead with a power-play goal at 6:19. Tavares took the puck to the left of the Stars' net and put it past Lehtonen despite being surrounded by Goligoski and left winger Antoine Roussel.

Tavares completed the hat trick with 3:07 left, at which point dozens of hats sailed on to the Coliseum ice and the crowd began chanting "M-V-P!"

NOTES: Among the Islanders' scratches was RW Kyle Okposo, whose wife gave birth to the couple's first child on Monday afternoon. LW Eric Boulton and D Matt Carkner also were healthy scratches for New York. ... Islanders C Josh Bailey returned to the lineup after missing four games with an upper-body injury. ... The Islanders' upcoming road trip is their longest since a seven-game trip from Nov 11-23, 2009. ... The Stars scratched D Cameron Gaunce, C Dustin Jeffrey and D Aaron Rome. Gaunce and Jeffrey were healthy scratches, while Rome was out due to an upper-body injury suffered Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings. ... Prior to the game, Dallas activated D Trevor Daley (ankle) and D Sergei Gonchar (concussion) off injured reserve. Gonchar missed six games, while Daley was sidelined for 14 games. ... The visit to Long Island was the first for the Stars since Dec. 15, 2011, and only their fifth since play resumed following the 2004-05 lockout.

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