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Fading Leafs seek rebound effort against Islanders

The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to put their most lopsided loss of the season behind them tonight, as they host the New York Islanders at Air Canada Centre.

Toronto ended a five-game losing streak with consecutive 3-1 wins over Tampa Bay and Ottawa last week, but the Maple Leafs followed those victories with Monday's 8-0 loss in Boston. The Bruins scored four goals in the opening period, three in the second and one more in the final frame to take the easy victory at TD Garden.

Prior to yesterday's rout, the Maple Leafs couldn't have felt too good about their playoff chances and every loss makes it more likely that Toronto is headed for a seventh straight year without a postseason. The Leafs, who have nine games left on their schedule, enter tonight as the 12th seed in the East and are eight points behind Washington for the conference's final playoff spot.

Toronto fired just 13 shots at Boston goaltender Tim Thomas on Monday, as the Bruins finished the season series against the Leafs with a perfect 6-0 record. Boston became the first of these teams to sweep the other in a season series since the Maple Leafs joined the Eastern Conference in 1998-99.

James Reimer started in net for Toronto and gave up four goals on nine shots in the first period. Jonas Gustavsson came on in relief and turned aside 11- of-15 shots.

"It was a tough pill to swallow," said Toronto defenseman Mike Komisarek. "It was embarrassing out there tonight. We didn't do anything right out there."

With the loss, the Maple Leafs posted a 2-3-0 record on a five-game road trip. Toronto will now play five of its next six games on home ice, where it is 16-13-6 this season.

Toronto will aim for a season sweep of the Islanders tonight after taking the first three encounters between the clubs this year. The Leafs have won five of six overall in this series and New York has dropped two in a row and five of its last seven at Air Canada Centre.

The Islanders, who are three points behind Toronto in the East standings, ended a five-game slide in their last trip to the ice, posting a shootout victory Saturday in Montreal. It was just the third victory in 11 games (3-5-3) for New York, which appears headed for a fifth straight year outside of the playoffs.

Josh Bailey scored the game-winning goal in the sixth round of the shootout, lifting the Islanders to the 3-2 win over the Canadiens, who are tied with New York for the last seed in the conference.

After Canadiens' defenseman Andrei Markov shot the puck wide in the top half of the sixth round, Bailey came down the ice with speed on his attempt and buried a wrister past the stick side of Peter Budaj for the winner.

Bailey added an assist in regulation, while Mark Streit and Frans Nielsen scored for the Islanders. Al Montoya made 28 saves in the victory.

"We definitely wanted to get that one for Al," Bailey said of his goaltender. "He's had a tough go here lately, and I'm happy for him."

Saturday's stop in Montreal began a five-game road trip for the Islanders, who are 14-16-5 as the guest this season.