TORONTO, April 18 (UPI) --
Two goals from John Tavares
, one of them the go-ahead tally late in the first period Thursday, helped rally the New York Islanders past Toronto 5-3.
The Islanders won their second straight and improved their playoff chances by staying three points in front of the New York Rangers for the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. Toronto, currently holding down the fifth spot in the conference, has lost two in a row.
The Maple Leafs jumped in front 2-0 during the game's opening 7 minutes on goals from Joffrey Lupul and Cody Franson, but New York then ran off five scores in a row.
Brad Boyes and Matt Moulson scored to draw the Rangers even late in the first period and Tavares then put them in front for good with 2:36 left in the stanza.
Tavares delivered the only second-period goal and Frans Nielsen made it 5-2 midway through the third.
Evgeni Nabokov stopped 18-of-21 shots to get the win. All five New York goals came against James Reimer on 38 shots.
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