Cizikas helps Islanders beat Maple Leafs in Tavares’ return
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Casey Cizikas scored twice and the New York Islanders beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-1 Thursday night in former captain John Tavares‘ first time back as a visiting player.
Anthony Beauvillier, Anders Lee and Valtteri Filppula also scored for the Islanders, who had lost three of their last four. Jordan Eberle and Cal Clutterbuck each had two assists, and Robin Lehner stopped 34 shots to help New York move two points ahead of Washington atop the Metropolitan Division one night before hosting the Capitals. The Islanders’ 81 points are one more than they had all of last season.
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Islanders fans, vocal on social media about their lingering displeasure with Taveras’ departure after he repeatedly said he wanted to stay, booed loudly when Tavares and the Maple Leafs hit the ice for pregame warmups, and when they came back out for the start of each period.
They also serenaded him with choruses of “We Don’t Need You!” and other derisive chants throughout the game, including around a video tribute midway through the first period. The face of the franchise for nine years after he was selected No. 1 overall by New York in 2009, Tavares insisted he agonized over his decision to leave before announcing it on July 1, the first day of free agency.
Zach Hyman scored for the Maple Leafs, who had won three straight. Garret Sparks finished …read more