TORONTO – Matthew Lombardi scored two goals and Jonas Gustavsson made 25 saves as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the New York Islanders 3-0 on Monday night in the first game of a home-and-home series.
Phil Kessel also scored for Toronto (24-19-5), which moved into an eight-place tie in the Eastern Conference with the idle Washington Capitals.
The Leafs stopped Islanders forward John Tavares' 12-game point streak — the longest run in the NHL this season — and snapped a three-game winning streak for New York (19-22-6).
Tavares notched eight goals and 13 assists during his spurt, and helped the Islanders to an 8-4 mark.
It was the third shutout of the season for Gustavsson, who has started nine of Toronto's past 10 games.
The Maple Leafs, who had lost four of five, played aggressively and outshot New York 35-25.
Lombardi made it 3-0 with just over three minutes left when he ripped a hard wrist shot past goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
Kessel doubled the lead at 8:10 of the third period when charging winger Joffrey Lupul fired a wrist shot from the right circle that caromed off Nabokov's pads to Kessel's waiting stick for his team-leading 26th goal.
The Maple Leafs All-Star had only two points in his previous six games.
Gustavsson wasn't called upon much in the second period until only four minutes remained. He made several big stops on the Islanders' top line, including an close-range shot by Tavares. The Islanders recorded only six shots in the period.
Gustavsson was forced into action in the third when the Islanders stepped up their offense and had 14 shots.
Toronto jumped out to 1-0 lead 1:37 in when Lombardi's slap shot rebounded off Nabokov and seemed to be put into the net by a streaking Nazem Kadri. However, a review later credited Lombardi with the goal, giving him three in two games.
Nabokov, who came into the game having allowed only four goals in four games, was solid in the first period as the Leafs dominated and held a 16-5 shots advantage. Nabokov was selected as the NHL's third star of last week.
Toronto has played nine of its last 10 at home and will play its next two games on the road — starting Tuesday on Long Island and finishing after the All-Star break on Jan. 31 at Pittsburgh.
NOTES: Toronto defenseman Carl Gunnarsson and forward Joey Crabb exchanged punches during a practice Sunday. The confrontation was said to be a result of players not showing enough emotion in the Leafs' 3-1 loss to Montreal on Saturday. ... Toronto has gone 10 consecutive games without allowing a power-play goal. ... The Maple Leafs were missing defenseman John-Michael Liles (concussion), forward Colby Armstrong (concussions), forward Jay Rosehill (scratched), defenseman Keith Aulie (scratched), and Darryl Boyce (back). ... The Islanders were without goalie Rick DiPietro (sports hernia), defenseman Steve Staios (scratched), defenseman Mike Mottau (concussion) and center Marty Reasoner (hand).