Series (Game 1 of 4)

Toronto leads 3-1

Game 1: Friday, December 23rd
Maple Leafs5Final
Game 2: Monday, January 23rd
Maple Leafs3
Game 3: Tuesday, January 24th
Maple Leafs4Final
Game 4: Tuesday, March 20th
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Maple Leafs 5

(18-13-4, 40 pts)

Islanders 3

(11-16-6, 28 pts)

Coverage: TSN

7:00 PM ET, December 23, 2011

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York

1 2 3 T
TOR 3 1 15
NYI 1 1 13

C. MacArthur (Maple Leafs - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

J. Tavares (Islanders - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

T. Connolly (Maple Leafs - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Leafs use James Reimer's 30 saves to overcome Isles

Associated Press

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Toronto Maple Leafs are happy heading into the Christmas break. The New York Islanders, not so much.

Clarke MacArthur scored a goal and added an assist, and James Reimer stopped 30 shots to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Friday night.

"I'm pretty pleased that we got five out of six points this past week," Reimer said. "It's nice to get some results."

Nazem Kadri, Carl Gunnarsson, Joey Crabb and Joffrey Lupul also had goals for the Maple Leafs, who head into the league's two-day holiday break with two straight wins.

"Christmas is miserable any time you lose," Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. "We found a way to win."

Kyle Okposo, Frans Nielsen and John Tavares scored, and Evgeni Nabokov made 23 saves for the Islanders in their second straight loss.

Toronto wasted little time getting on the board as MacArthur headed to the right crease and knocked a loose puck past Nabokov just 1:43 into the game.

Kadri scored near the end of a Toronto power play to double the lead at 4:22.

The Maple Leafs pushed it to 3-0 with 8:45 to go in the first when Gunnarsson beat Nabokov with a slap shot from the center point for his first goal of the season.

"We came out strong," Reimer said. "They may have had some holiday distractions, but I feel we were just more determined."

New York finally broke through with 4:15 to go as Okposo came in on a break and beat Reimer to the glove side with a wrist shot. Nielsen connected on a power-play rebound 40 seconds into the second period to trim the deficit to 3-2.

Crabb put the Leafs back up by two with his sixth goal of the season, which came on a 2-on-1 short-handed break.

The Islanders pulled back within one when Tavares buried a rebound with 9:10 to go in the game.

Lupul closed the scoring on an empty-netter with 8.9 seconds left.

"We were a little sluggish," Tavares said. "We battled back, but we made too many mistakes and dug ourselves too deep a hole early."

Game notes

The Maple Leafs opened a four-game road trip. After the New Year, Toronto plays nine of ten at home. ... Islanders F Matt Martin threw a check about halfway through the game and went down. He was taken to the dressing room.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press