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Tavares leads rising Isles past struggling Leafs

Jan 7, 2014, 10:24 PM EDT

John Tavares Getty Images

John Tavares and the New York Islanders seem like they might just be turning things around. On Tuesday, that meant making it appear that the opposite is true for the Maple Leafs, as the Isles topped Toronto 5-3.

Islanders climb

Simply put, Tavares has been dazzling. Chew on this: he has eight points (three assists tonight, a hat trick and two helpers on Monday) in the last two nights. He’s also rising up the ranks of the NHL’s top scorers, as his 54 points tie him with Patrick Kane for second in the league.

(Apparently getting into town late and facing back-to-backs can’t stop the Canadian Olympian.)

The Islanders have won two in a row and five of their last six games after seemingly looking left for dead in mid-December. It remains to be seen how Evgeni Nabokov‘s IR stint may affect the team, but so far, they’re winning with Kevin Poulin back in net.

Wilting Leafs

Jonathan Bernier has often been brilliant this season, but he allowed four goals in tonight’s defeat after giving up five goals and being pulled in an embarrassing loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday. While he’s often carried a sorely out-chanced Leafs club this season, Randy Carlyle pinned three of tonight’s four goals on the 25-year-old, the Globe & Mail’s James Mirtle reports.

“It was one of those games,” Bernier said.

Toronto faces three of its next four games on the road, so it’s up to Carlyle & Co. to figure out how to avoid more of those games.

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