UNIONDALE, N.Y. – John Tavares scored three goals and added two assists in the New York Islanders' 7-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Monday night.
In addition to a strong performance from their captain, highly touted Islanders rookie center Ryan Strome scored the first goal of his NHL career.
But the comeback victory came at a cost as starting goalie Evgeni Nabokov left with what appeared to be a groin injury. He was put on the injured list shortly after the game.
The 38-year-old Nabokov returned to action on Dec. 14 after he missed 11 games because of a groin injury sustained against Detroit on Nov. 16. New York recalled goalie Anders Nilsson from Bridgeport of the AHL later Monday night.
With the Islanders on the power play early in the second period and trailing 2-0, Strome got New York on the board by putting a wrist shot past goalie Kari Lehtonen — one of four Islanders goals in the frame. The Islanders went on to score six goals over a 24:38 span. Peter Regin, Brock Nelson, and Brian Strait also scored.
Dallas built its 2-0 lead on first-period goals by Jamie Benn and Erik Cole, but Lehtonen couldn't make the margin stick. He allowed seven goals on 43 shots.
After Strome opened the scoring for the Islanders, New York tied it on a goal by Tavares 7:29 into the second. The Islanders took a 3-2 lead just two minutes later on a goal by Regin, who netted his second of the season.
Valeri Nichushkin then tied it for Dallas by scoring on a power play. But Brock Nelson capped off a frenetic second period by scoring with 28 seconds left to put the Islanders back on top 4-3.
Tavares completed his hat trick by scoring at the 6:19 and 16:53 of the third period.
Jamie Benn opened the scoring for Dallas 5:01 in, putting a backhander past Nabokov, but shortly after, Nabokov was forced to leave the game. Kevin Poulin replaced him, and yielded the Stars' second tally almost instantly when Erik Cole coaxed a soft backhander in from just shy of the blue line.
NOTES: New York forward Kyle Okposo missed the game due to the birth of his first child. ... Islanders forward Thomas Vanek had two assists to extend his point streak to nine games. ... The Stars activated defensemen Trevor Daley and Sergei Gonchar from the injured list before the game. Daley had missed 14 games with a lower body injury. Gonchar sat out five because of concussion symptoms.