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New York at Vancouver

Tavares breaks out of slump with five points, Isles win in Vancouver

CBSSports.com wire reports
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- New York Islanders rookie John Tavares spent the morning fielding questions about his recent scoring slump. His best answers came later against the Canucks.

Tavares broke out with a career-best two goals and three assists, Dwayne Roloson made 35 saves, and New York beat Vancouver 5-2 on Tuesday night. It was the perfect follow-up to a morning media session with Canadian reporters, during which the 19-year-old insisted he was playing well despite not scoring.

"I felt I was making good plays, I was creating a lot of offense the last few weeks, but it's nice when everything starts to click and go in," Tavares said after the game. "It's something to build on and it obviously it feels good."

Tavares, the first pick in the draft last summer, burst into the NHL with rookie-of-the-year expectations after 15 goals and 27 points in his first 32 games. But he came into Tuesday's contest with only three goals and nine points in 37 games before breaking out with his first five-point night in the NHL.

"I knew I proved myself early in the year offensively for sure, but overall my game has come a long way and I felt I've been playing well the last few weeks," he said. "But it's nice when you can contribute and make a big difference."

Tavares made a nice play to set up defenseman Dylan Reese's first NHL goal 6:22 into the first period, then jammed in a power-play rebound -- created by his own nice pass behind the net -- five minutes later for his second goal in 22 games.

Tavares also set up Matt Moulson for his 26th this season, and Freddy Meyer in the second period before adding his 20th goal of the season into an empty net with 2:20 left as the Islanders won their third consecutive game. New York remained seven points behind Boston for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

"It's about being professional and realizing it's not over yet," Roloson said. "We're still in a position we can make the playoffs and we believe we can. Is it a good chance, a 99 percent chance? No, but mathematically we're able."

New York went ahead 3-0 when Moulson redirected a spinning pass from Tavares behind Roberto Luongo with 4:30 left in the second period. But Kyle Wellwood responded on a rebound just over a minute later, and Alex Burrows pulled the Canucks within one goal with 1:25 left in the period, setting the stage for Vancouver to try to build on its NHL-leading 10 third-period comebacks.

Instead, Roloson stopped Mason Raymond on a partial breakaway, and Meyer made it 4-2 with 7.6 seconds left in the period after Tavares took the puck hard to the net off the wing. His sharp-angle shot deflected in off Meyer as he toppled toward the goal, and the Islanders held on to hand the Canucks their first home loss in eight games and a rare home loss in regulation (25-8-1).

"To me, it was inevitable," New York coach Scott Gordon said of Tavares' goals. "A guy can't get that many opportunities and not be able to cash in."

Luongo stopped eight shots before giving way to Andrew Raycroft to start the third period. Vancouver lost for the second time in nine games (6-2-1).

"We weren't really respecting the opposition," Luongo said.

The Canucks were playing their third home game in four nights after returning from an NHL-record 14 consecutive road games while Vancouver hosted the Olympics. They seemed to run out of gas while being outshot 27-8 the final two periods Sunday in a 3-1 victory against Calgary, and had little early jump Tuesday.

Tavares helped put the Islanders ahead by drawing three Canucks as he peeled off the boards and feeding an open Reese at the point for a top corner shot Luongo never saw because Moulson was unchecked in front of the net.

After Tavares jammed a rebound through Luongo, Roloson made several great saves early in the second period before Moulson scored on New York's third shot.

Notes

  • Islanders RW Blake Comeau extended his point streak to four games with an assist and now has five goals and 12 points in his past nine games.
  • Canucks C Ryan Kesler had his point streak snapped at 13 games, ending the NHL's longest active run, but LW Daniel Sedin extended his streak to 11 games and twin brother Henrik's is now at six.
  • Vancouver RW Mikael Samuelsson's run ended at seven games as he left the game during the third period for undisclosed reasons.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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John Tavares is involved in all five goals the Islanders score on this night. (AP)
John Tavares is involved in all five goals the Islanders score on this night. (AP)

Scoreboard
NY Islanders  (29-32-9) «2215
Vancouver (43-24-3)0202
Three Stars
J. Tavares
NYI


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 3
M. Streit
NYI


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0
K. Wellwood
VAN


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
06:22Dylan Reese (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Tavares, Moulson
11:45Power Play - John Tavares (19), Wrist Shot. Assist: Comeau, Nielsen
2ND PERIOD
15:30Matt Moulson (26), Wrist Shot. Assist: Tavares, Sim
16:35Kyle Wellwood (10), Wrist Shot. Assist: Ehrhoff, Raymond
18:35Alex Burrows (32), Backhand Shot. Assist: Sedin, Sedin
19:52Freddy Meyer (4), Tip-In. Assist: Tavares, Hunter
3RD PERIOD
17:40John Tavares (20), Empty Net. Assist: Gervais
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
31.0Rome, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
07:33Alberts, 2 min, Hooking
11:29Samuelsson, 2 min, Roughing
19:38Tambellini, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
04:46Edler, 2 min, Tripping
3RD PERIOD
18:14Bergenheim, 2 min, Hooking
Shots On Goal
 123T
New York84820
Vancouver919937
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Dwayne Roloson60:00352
Roberto Luongo39:5384
Andrew Raycroft18:5670
Game Information
Attendance - 18810
Referees - Gord Dwyer, Tim Peel
Linesmen - Thor Nelson, Mark Wheler
 
Other Games
SJ 2 Final
Dal 8
Wash 7 Final
Fla 3
Buf 3 Final
Atl 4
Bos 5 Final
Car 2
Colo 5 Final
StL 3
Edm 2 Final
Min 4
Tor 4 Final
Ott 1
Pho 2 Final
TB 1
Phi 3 Final
Nash 4
Mon 3 Final
NYR 1