No, Leaf Nation, you’re not dreaming. Vesa Toskala really did just win two games in a row. And yes – they were both at home in front of the sold-out Air Canada Centre.
The Leafs got goals from Francois Beauchemin, Ian White and Jason Blake, while Toskala made 30 saves and was named 3rd star of the game. The Leafs got off to a quick start, scoring two powerplay goals in the first, taking advantage of the Islanders’ lackluster penalty killing. Beauchemin ripped a one timer from the point off a Tomas Kaberle pass just over 8 minutes into the first, and White scored his 5th goal of the year on a blast from the top of the circles on the Leafs next powerplay.
Yet again, the Leafs came out a bit flat to start the 3rd after a scoreless 2nd period. John Tavares, held pointless in his first game back in Toronto two weeks ago, scored two powerplay goals in the first half of the 3rd, tying the game. Thankfully, the Leafs woke up in the second half of the period, outshooting the Isles 7-1 after Tavares’ second goal. With a little over four minutes left to play, a good forecheck from the Grabovski-Hagman-Blake line produced a loose puck in front, and Blake was able to bang it home past Roloson to win the game for the Leafs. Nikolai Kulemin followed the goal with a strong rush to the net a few seconds later, forcing Jack Hillen to take a penalty that virtually ended any chance at New York tying the game.
Phil Kessel was held pointless, but was +1 on the night and had 3 shots. The Leafs have another score to settle tomorrow night, as they travel back to Boston to take on the Bruins. With Saturday’s 7-2 beating fresh in their minds, there should be plenty of incentive for Wilson’s boys to punish the B’s. If they play the way they have for most of the past two games, they should be in good shape. Don’t look now, but Toronto is 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, and now sit just 3 points out of the current playoff standings.