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Kessel, Leafs down Isles
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Phil Kessel scored twice and Trevor Smith added a goal and two assists, as the Toronto Maple Leafs downed the New York Islanders, 5-2, on Tuesday at Air Canada Centre.
Mason Raymond and David Clarkson notched a goal apiece, while Joffrey Lupul registered three assists for the Leafs, who have won two straight.
Jonathan Bernier backstopped the victory with 35 saves.
Frans Nielsen and Casey Cizikas each scored once for the Islanders, who have lost six of their last eight games.
"We definitely weren't hard enough on their skill and that's unacceptable," Cizikas said. "We played without a heartbeat tonight and it showed on the scoreboard."
Kevin Poulin permitted all five goals on 24 shots in defeat.
Lupul helped get the Leafs on the board less than 30 seconds in, as he charged down the right side and dipped below the goal line before centering the disc for a trailing Smith, who tapped the puck past Poulin's short-side to make it 1-0 just 22 seconds into the tilt.
Kessel's power-play marker 11:19 into the second doubled Toronto's lead, but the Isles cut the margin in half late in the frame when Cizikas blocked Cody Franson's shot from the right point and skated in on a breakaway before slipping the puck under Bernier's pads to make it 2-1 at 19:48.
Raymond stuffed in a rebound off an odd-man rush 3:39 into the third to push the Leafs' lead to 3-1 before Clarkson scored his first goal with Toronto at the 12:52 mark to give the home team a 4-1 cushion.
"It does feel good, I guess, to get some people off my back a little bit," Clarkson joked of scoring his first goal since signing with the team in the offseason.
Nielsen lit the lamp under three minutes later to get New York within two, but Kessel capped his two-goal night with his 12th of the season at 17:17 to account for the final margin.
New York forward Thomas Vanek missed his fifth straight game due to an upper- body injury ... The Islanders fell to 3-7-0 on the road this season ... Toronto improved to 8-2-0 at home this season ... New York finished 0-for-2 on the power play while Toronto went 1-for-2 on the man advantage.
11/19 23:51:44 ET
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