Maple Leafs' McElhinney has something to prove to Blue Jackets

"As much as it's just one loss and we've got a big game Thursday (against the New York Rangers), it's a humbling loss, it's a butt-kicking", Islanders coach Doug Weight said.

For Babcock, the difference in the Leafs' start - they led 2-0 in the first period - was goaltender Frederik Andersen.

And it's not just playing against his former team, either. We played with maturity and we got on and off the ice right.

They are two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for second place in the division with a Friday night matchup between the teams to be played in Columbus. "We hit a couple of posts in the first period and I thought we deserved a little better the first couple of periods anyways". Rookie Zach Werenski has six points (two goals, four assists) after posting six goals and 19 assists in his first 36 games. It wasn't our sharpest game. "The fact that i get to play in a familiar building is a great opportunity".

But nothing went right for NY in this game as the Isles had a few shots bounce off the post behind Toronto netminder Frederik Andersen before Josh Leivo and Nazem Kadri snuck a couple of pucks past Thomas Greiss, who was eventually pulled after surrendering six goals on 34 shots.

"The better the goalie plays, the more you settle down and the more you dial in", said coach Mike Babcock. ". I thought he was going to crack (the lineup) earlier than right now".

"I think it's execution", Columbus' Brandon Dubinsky told the team's official website after the loss.

"It's always good for the league when Toronto's doing well, and I think it's exciting that we're going to play a real similar team in the sense of speed, skill and size, so I'm looking forward to that", Foligno said. "We scored timely goals, and then it got to be a real good situation for us because most games in this league you're grinding right till the bitter end".

Jason Chimera scored on a penalty shot for the Islanders (25-20-10), who are 8-3-2 since Weight replaced Jack Capuano as coach on January 17.

Matthews scored his 26th and 27th goals in the win while Andersen stopped 33-of-34 shots to capture the milestone victory. They got a pair past Thomas Greiss - including a career-high 21st this season for Nazem Kadri - and a ideal 12-save period from Andersen. "They kept most of the shots to the outside, and that makes my job a lot easier. I didn't think it was".

Thomas Greiss made 28 stops in the Islanders' net before being replaced by Jean-Francois Berube after the sixth Toronto goal. "Andersen, a credit to him, played really well".

Leivo scored the first Toronto goal, ripping a shot past Greiss after missing a glorious chance a few minutes earlier. Matthews scored both goals in the third period, as he gave his team 4-1 and 6-1 leads at the time. The goal followed a giveaway by Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech.

McElhinney is 4-3-2 with a 2.29 goals-against average and.928 save percentage this season, 2-2-0, 1.23, .927 as a Leaf.

Kadri added to the lead with 32 seconds left in the period, the 26-year-old inadvertently deflecting a Nikita Zaitsev point shot into the empty cage behind Greiss.

Kadri and William Nylander continued the barrage on Greiss before Jason Chimera brought the Islanders to within two by scoring on a penalty shot late in the second period.

Babcock said Nikita Soshnikov, who had been out with an upper-body injury, will be available for Wednesday's game in Columbus, but Leivo earned another game. "On the (power play) right after that, we had two really good looks".

The Blue Jackets are 8-10-1 since their franchise-record 16-game winning streak after dropping a 3-2 decision to the New York Rangers on Monday.

Matthews beat Greiss with a backhand rebound on the power play and then deposited Connor Brown's feed from behind the NY goal. After a three-on-one for Toronto came up empty - one pass too many for the trio of Marner, Bozak and James van Riemsdyk - Andersen denied Chimera on a breakaway.

Matthews scored his second goal of the game and his 27th of the season from the slot at 11:51.

  • Julie Sanders