TORONTO (Ticker) -- There was plenty of disappointment in the New York Islanders' locker room before, during and after their 3-3 tie with the Toronto Maple Leafs, even though they extended their lead in the playoff race.
A night after losing to their archrivals, the Islanders rallied twice in the third period as Dave Scatchard scored the equalizer with 2:35 left in regulation, helping New York to an important point.
The Islanders were on their way to losses on consecutive nights, following a 1-0 setback to the New York Rangers with a horrific first period, during which they managed just one shot.
They trailed, 2-0, after 40 minutes and 3-2 following Owen Nolan's second power-play goal of the game, but Scatchard's brilliant redirection led to a valuable point. It still wasn't good enough for coach Peter Laviolette.
"I'm disappointed with the effort," said Laviolette, whose team built a six-point lead for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth. "Yes, we fought hard for a point, but I'm disappointed with the effort."
Laviolette wasn't the only one.
"I think we're all disappointed with the way we played last night and the start of our game tonight," said captain Michael Peca, whose third-period penalty led to Monday's game-winning goal. "For whatever reason, it happened."
Defenseman Adrian Aucoin and Arron Asham scored 1:58 apart in the first nine minutes of the third period, helping the Islanders increase their lead over Montreal and the idle Rangers for eighth place in the East.
"We've got to build off the positive point, that we came back and really played well the last half of the game and got a point," Peca said.
The Canadiens lost earlier in the night, 1-0, at home to New Jersey.
Nolan scored his fourth and fifth goals in as many games with Toronto, which moved within five points of fourth-place Philadelphia and five ahead of sixth-place Washington.
It could have been an even better night for the Maple Leafs, had they not squandered a pair of third-period leads.
"It was about 40 minutes of the best hockey we've played this year and 20 minutes of the worst," said defenseman Bryan McCabe, a former Islander.
The Leafs had a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes, during which they held an 8-1 advantage in shots. Alexander Mogilny scored with 5:29 left in the first period, putting a snap shot from under the right faceoff dot through rookie Rick DiPietro's pads.
Nolan made it 2-0 at 9:24 of the second when a puck ricocheted to him just in front of the crease to DiPietro's left. With DiPietro floundering out of position, Nolan hit a vacant net.
Aucoin began New York's first comeback 6:57 into the third period when his seemingly harmless backhander from above the high slot trickled through the pads of Ed Belfour.
Asham tied it less than two minutes later. On a partial breakaway, he got Belfour to drop his left shoulder by faking a slap shot from the right faceoff circle, then roofed a snap shot to the near side, banking it off the post and into the net.
The Leafs needed only 2:29 to regain the lead. Less than 90 seconds after New York was penalized for too many men on the ice, Robert Reichel weaved a backhanded pass through a pair of defenders to a driving Nolan, who lifted a shot over DiPietro from the right side.
"He's been really good," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "Of course, I've been a fan of Nolan for a long time. I think the people of Toronto will see what a good hockey player he is."
"He's a goal-scoreer," Leafs winger Mikael Renberg added. "He's great for our club. He's a hard-working player and he fits right into our system. It's great to have him."
Nolan would have been happier if Toronto kept the lead.
"We couldn't finish them off," he said. "We came into the third period a little sluggish and we gave them an opportunity to get back in the game."
Scatchard tied it with 2:35 left in regulation, skating through the slot with his back to Belfour before redirecting defenseman Janne Niinimaa's low snap shot through Belfour's legs.
"Janne Niinimaa just took a look at me and ripped it right at my stick," Scatchard said. "I just turned it in a little bit and it went in, so it was a big goal for us."
Scatchard had New York's best scoring chance in overtime, but Belfour corraled his slap shot from just above the left hashmark with five seconds left.
DiPietro single-handedly kept Toronto from an extra point, making five of his 28 saves in overtime. He made two against Sundin during a flurry in the final 20 seconds, stopping his snap shot off a 2-on-1 before gloving a wraparound attempt.
"Going into overtime, they got a couple of good chances, but fortunately for me, I was able to redeem myself with the Nolan chance and make a couple of good saves on Sundin," DiPietro said. "It was a good flurry there."