UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — With John Tavares and the rest of the Islanders' offense clicking, it hardly mattered who was protecting New York's net at the other end.
The Islanders captain scored three goals and added two assists, prized rookie Ryan Strome scored the first goal of his NHL career, and Kevin Poulin won in relief of injured starter Evgeni Nabokov in New York's 7-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Monday night.
After falling behind 2-0, the Islanders scored four times in the second period and carried a 4-3 lead into the third.
"It was great, the intensity and pace we came out with in the second period," Tavares said. "Great to see not just a few guys get it going, but everyone really fed off the energy."
Tavares scored his first at 7:29 of the second period off a terrific pass from Thomas Vanek. He added two more in the third, netting a power-play goal with 3:07 remaining to push the lead to 7-3. It was the captain's 20th goal of the season.
"A lot of people dream of those nights," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "Anytime (Tavares) has a night like that, it's nice to win the hockey game."
But the comeback victory came at a cost as starting goalie Evgeni Nabokov left with what appeared to be a groin injury. He was put on the injured list shortly after the game.
The 38-year-old Nabokov returned to action on Dec. 14 after he missed 11 games because of a groin injury sustained against Detroit on Nov. 16.
New York recalled goalie Anders Nilsson from Bridgeport of the AHL later Monday night.
With the Islanders on the power play early in the second period and trailing 2-0, Strome got New York on the board by putting a wrist shot past goalie Kari Lehtonen.
It took the 20-year-old Strome 11 NHL games to finally break the ice. He said it might have been the longest scoring drought he had endured, and he was starting to feel the pressure.
"It's nice to get it out of the way," Strome said. "Hopefully, I can just start playing now. (It was) starting to bug me a little bit. I had a couple of great chances. It's a tough league to score. You've got to take advantage of the opportunities."
Peter Regin, Brock Nelson, and Brian Strait also added goals for the Islanders, who scored six times in a span of 24:38 and won for the fourth time in five games. New York won in regulation at home for the first time since Nov. 12. The Islanders were 2-6-4 in their previous 12 games at Nassau Coliseum.