THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Tuesday, December 29, 2015, 10:54 PM
John Tavares scores a goal as the Islanders roll past the Maple Leafs, 6-3, on Tuesday.
TORONTO (AP) — John Tavares was one of six New York Islanders to score in a 6-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night for a split in a home-and-home set.
Brock Nelson, Frans Nielsen, Nikolay Kulemin, Matt Martin and Anders Lee also scored for the Islanders (20-12-5).
Thomas Greiss turned aside 30 shots. Jonathan Bernier again had trouble, getting beaten by the second shot of the game and giving up six goals on just 15 shots through the two periods before James Reimer took over to start the third.
Brad Boyes, Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau and Shawn Matthias had goals for the Maple Leafs (13-15-7), who beat New York 3-1 on Sunday at Barclays Center.
Reimer, who was making his first appearance in net since missing seven games with an injury, made six saves. Nelson put New York ahead 1-0 when he cut to the middle of the slot and beat Bernier with a low wrist shot two minutes into the game.
The Islanders’ lead didn’t last long, as Boyes scored 39 seconds later when he picked up a rebound at the top of the crease and put it past a sprawling Greiss.
The Leafs controlled the pace of play after Boyes’ goal, but New York restored its advantage when Josh Bailey put a slap-pass toward the front of the net that an open Tavares re-directed over Bernier’s blocker at 11:51.
It was just the fourth shot Bernier had faced up to that point. Nick Leddy found a speeding Nielsen to make it 3-1 New York at 17:45.
Thomas Greiss makes on of his 30 saves by stopping a shot from Maple Leafs’ James van Riemsdyk.
After taking a pass from Leddy at Toronto’s blue line, Nielsen blew by a flat-footed Dion Phaneuf and beat Bernier five-hole with a backhand.
Parenteau cut New York’s lead in half with a wrist shot from the top of the face-off circle that beat Greiss low blocker side at 10:57.
Any chance for momentum was halted, however, when Bernier gave the puck away behind his net and Kulemin was gifted an open look to make it 4-2 only 28 seconds later.
Bernier was given a subtle cheer from the home crowd when he stopped New York’s 13th shot of the game, but he was beaten on the 14th by Martin with less than two minutes to play in the second.
Making matters worse for the struggling net-minder, Lee also beat Bernier with his club’s very next shot to make it 6-2 with 39 seconds to play in the period.
Leafs coach Mike Babcock challenged the goal for goalie interference, but couldn’t get it overturned and lost his timeout in the process. Matthias added a late goal for Toronto, beating Greiss glove side from the slot at the 16-minute mark of the third.
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