TORONTO (AP)—The New York Islanders didn’t let a sluggish start bother them.
The Islanders managed just one shot in the first.
“We battled really well in the third. It’s tough to come back from two goals down with a team like Toronto,” goalie Rick DiPietro said. “I give us a lot of credit for coming back. Obviously, we’d like to have a better start.”
DiPietro made 27 saves, including a couple of impressive stops on Mats Sundin and Nolan in overtime. It didn’t matter as the Maple Leafs clinched a playoff spot.
New York captain Michael Peca didn’t want to dwell on the Islanders’ poor play.
“I think we are all disappointed with the way we played last night and how we started tonight,” Peca said. “We have to build off the positive. We came back and really played well in the last half of the game and got a point.”
New York leads Montreal and the Rangers by six points in the race for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Owen Nolan scored twice for the Maple Leafs, who couldn’t hold leads of 2-0 and 3-2.
“We played 20 minutes of our best hockey and then two minutes of our worst,” Toronto’s Bryan McCabe said.
The Maple Leafs outshot the Islanders 8-1 in the first and took a 1-0 lead on Alexander Mogilny’s wrist shot from the left circle at 14:31.
Nolan scored the first of his two power-play goals at 9:24 of the second after making a pass from the behind the net to Robert Reichel, whose shot deflected off Sundin to a wide-open Nolan.
Aucoin’s weak backhander beat Toronto goalie Ed Belfour at 6:50 of the third.
“It’s a tough tie,” Belfour said. “I think the guys played great tonight and they deserved better.”
Just over two minutes later, Asham tied it at 2 after gathering the puck after a Toronto turnover and scoring with a wrist shot over Belfour’s glove.
Nolan made it 3-2 after Reichel made a nice backhand pass. Nolan streaked toward the net and scored his 27th goal.
Scatchard tipped Janne Niinimaa’s shot to tie it at 3 at 17:35 of the third.
Nolan has five goals in five games since being acquired from San Jose on March 5. He has points in all of his games with the Maple Leafs, including twoassists.
Fans chanted “Doug-ie, Doug-ie” when a picture of Maple Leafs C Doug Gilmour appeared on the videoboard. Gilmour, acquired last week from Montreal, is expected to miss at least four weeks with strained ligaments in his knee. Gilmour was Maple Leafs captain from 1992-97. … The Islanders played theirfifth game of a six-game road trip.