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Engvall scores late winner as Islanders clip Maple Leafs 3-2

TORONTO — Former Toronto Maple Leafs forward Pierre Engvall and 24-year-old New York Islanders rookie Kyle MacLean enjoyed fulfilling homecomings on Monday.
New York Islanders' Pierre Engvall (18) scores on Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov (35) during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Monday, February 5, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

TORONTO — Former Toronto Maple Leafs forward Pierre Engvall and 24-year-old New York Islanders rookie Kyle MacLean enjoyed fulfilling homecomings on Monday.

Engvall scored the winner on a rebound with 2:02 remaining in the third period of a 3-2 New York Islanders victory in his first game at Scotiabank Arena since being traded by the Maple Leafs a year ago.

MacLean, a former junior standout with the nearby Oshawa Generals, scored his first goal in his sixth NHL game, putting the Islanders ahead 2-1 in the second period.

MacLean's father is former New Jersey Devils sniper and current Islanders assistant coach John MacLean.

"(John) had a little reaction, but don't tell anybody," new Islanders head coach Patrick Roy said with a smile.

The Islanders (21-17-12) evened Roy's record at 2-2-1 since he took over last month. The win also snapped the Maple Leafs' (25-15-8) three-game win streak.

Toronto captain John Tavares tied the game on the power play with 4:48 left in the third period, redirecting a Morgan Rielly shot from the slot.

"What I loved about our game is that after they scored on the power play, we had the attitude of, 'Let's get that next one,"' said coach Roy.

Engvall played parts of four seasons in Toronto. He admitted after that he put up some money on the board, hoping his teammates would cash in with a road win.

"I played in Toronto for a long time," Engvall said. "To get that win was good for us."

MacLean played 199 AHL regular-season and playoff games with the Bridgeport Islanders before being promoted last month. He was sent down over the NHL all-star break to play two more games before being recalled in time for the outing before 18,675 at Scotiabank Arena.

"It's been a long journey," the undrafted MacLean said. "I always had that inner belief, but it's cool now, and you kind of feel like the hard work is beginning to pay off."

John MacLean played 18 NHL seasons, winning a Stanley Cup with the 1994-95 New Jersey Devils. He stayed calm after his son scored, but Kyle was sure they would share the special moment on the charter flight home.

"This is a unique situation and we're still trying to figure things out," the younger MacLean said. "We're trying to keep a player-coach relationship as much as possible during the season."

Kyle was born in New Jersey when his father played for the Devils. They summered in the Kingston area. When the opportunity arrived for the younger MacLean to play for his father's hometown Generals, he jumped at the chance and wore his father's No. 15 sweater.

He exhibited his Dad's scoring touch, jumping out of the penalty box to score a breakaway goal two minutes after Mitch Marner tied the game in the opening minute of the second period.

MacLean was in the box, serving a penalty to Islanders forward Bo Horvat.

Toronto outshot the visitors 37-29, with Ilya Sorokin picking up the win. Ilya Samsonov made his fourth consecutive start for the Maple Leafs.

Mathew Barzal enjoyed a stellar game. He scored the first goal in the opening period, knocking in a rebound from a Mike Reilly shot that hit the post.

Barzal played on Team Matthews, the winning three-on-three team at the NHL All-star affair on Saturday. Besides Auston Matthews, the team included Maple Leafs Rielly, Marner and William Nylander.


Maple Leafs centre David Kampf returned from the break with an undisclosed injury. Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe doesn't expect Kampf to play in any of his team's three games this week.

Maple Leafs goalie Joseph Woll returned to practice on Monday. He's been out since Dec. 9 with a high-ankle sprain. The young netminder won't be ready for game action until mid-February.


Islanders: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.

Maple Leafs: Host the Dallas Stars on Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 5, 2024.

Tim Wharnsby, The Canadian Press