Islanders score six, surge past Maple Leafs in Tavares return
John Tavares’ return to Nassau Coliseum was spoiled by the New York Islanders, who scored six unanswered goals to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-1 on Thursday.
Casey Cizikas scored two goals, and Robin Lehner made 34 saves for New York (37-19-7), which has outscored Toronto 10-1 in two games this season. The Islanders, who moved two points ahead of the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division, won 4-0 at Toronto on Dec. 29.
Tavares played his first nine seasons for the Islanders after they selected the center No. 1 in the 2009 NHL Draft and was their captain from 2013-14 through last season. He signed a seven-year, $77 million contract with Toronto on July 1.
Zach Hyman scored, and Garret Sparks made 31 saves for Toronto (39-21-4), which had won three in a row. The Maple Leafs entered one point behind the Boston Bruins for second place in the Atlantic Division.