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Maple Leafs 5, Islanders 4 (OT)

The SportsXchange

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Dion Phaneuf's goal 1:11 into overtime Thursday night lifted the Toronto Maple Leafs past the New York Islanders, 5-4, at Nassau Coliseum.

Phaneuf's goal ensured Nazem Kadri's hat trick -- the first multi-goal game of his career -- would not go for naught. Kadri's first two goals tied the game (at 1-1 and 2-2) while his spectacular third tally capped a three-goal second period flurry by the Leafs, who needed just 5:17 to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead.

The hat trick by Kadri was the first by a Maple Leafs player at Nassau Coliseum since Paul Henderson did it exactly 39 years ago.

James Van Riemsdyk also scored for the Leafs (13-9-0) as they remained in the thick of the race for the top overall seed in the Eastern Conference. Toronto, which played its NHL-high 13th road game Thursday and improved to 9-4-0 away from Air Canada Centre, is just three points behind East leader Montreal.

While the Leafs thrive on the road, the home woes continued for the Islanders (8-12-1), who had two goals overturned on review and missed a penalty shot.

A season-low announced crowd of 9,222 turned out to see the Islanders lose their fourth straight home game and fall to an NHL-worst 2-9-0 at the Coliseum. It is the Islanders' worst 11-game start at home since the 1989-90 team opened 1-8-2.

Josh Bailey, Lubomir Visnovsky, Andrew MacDonald and Kyle Okposo all scored for the Islanders, who came back to tie the game with two goals in the third. The scores were the first of the season for Bailey, Visnovsky and MacDonald.

Kadri displayed his impressive athleticism on all three goals. On his first score, Kadri took a clearing pass from Mark Fraser and raced more than 50 feet along the left side of the ice before he threaded a slapshot through a pair of Islanders defensemen and goalie Evgeni Nabokov.

Kadri tied the score again 8:55 into the second when he faked a pass to Leo Komarov and fired a shot from just in front of the blue line through Mark Streit and Joe Finley and past Nabokov.

Kadri saved the best for last less than six minutes later, when he picked up the puck in the Leafs' zone, skated along the right side, threaded his way between Visnovsky and Streit and dove as he fired a shot past Nabokov for the hat trick.

The Islanders had a goal waved off 1:32 into the second, when John Tavares was called for high sticking when he batted an airborne puck past Reimer.

Another goal was waved off early in the third, when Visnovsky's shot beat Reimer but clanged off the top post, fell in front of the red line and squirmed out of the goalmouth.

In addition, Michael Grabner's penalty shot in the first was high and wide right of the net. Grabner earned the penalty shot when he was tripped from behind by Phil Kessel on a breakaway.

NOTES: Rick DiPietro, the Islanders' one-time franchise goaltender who was assigned to Bridgeport of the AHL after he cleared waivers last weekend, told ESPNNewYork.com Thursday that he wasn't speaking literally when he told a Long Island television station that he would have driven himself "into a tree" if not for the support of his wife the last several years. "I was just trying to draw attention to how important my wife has been to me," DiPietro told the website. DiPietro, who has eight years left on a 15-year, $67.5 million contract, missed 281 games the previous four seasons due to a variety of injuries and went 0-3 this year prior to his demotion. He is scheduled to draw his first start for Bridgeport on Friday night. ... The Leafs scratched defensemen Mike Komisarek and John-Michael Liles and winger Mike Brown while the Islanders scratched center Keith Aucoin, defenseman Radek Martinek and winger David Ullstrom. ... Entering play Thursday, only the Flyers and Stars had played as many road games as the Maple Leafs.
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