Rookie goaltender James Reimer has seen enough of Phil Kessel to know it was only a matter of time the Maple Leafs sniper would score a clutch goal against someone else.

"He makes me look like a fool all the time in practice," Reimer said following a 2-1 Leafs win over the New York Islanders, that helped keep the playoff life support humming. "He's got one of the hardest shots to stop."

Kessel's game winner with less than five minutes remaining didn't exactly make brilliant Isles goalie Al Montoya look like a fool, but it was the type of play the Leafs expect more of from their lead man.

Kessel's 23rd of the season may have been his best, if you factor in timing, but it looks pretty spectacular on tape as well. An end-to-end rush, that included a nice stop and go just inside the Isles blue line to fool the defence was finished off with a low shot that fooled Montoya.

"I've had my chances here," said Kessel, who has struggled at the ACC "It was nice to get a big goal like that."

Scoreboard says

There's no doubt the young Leafs are enjoying watching the action elsewhere as they resolutely attempt to claw their way into the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The win, combined with a Carolina shootout loss to the Rangers - taken in by the Leafs in the players' lounge - moved them back to within six points of the eighth-place Hurricanes and just one behind idle Buffalo and Atlanta.

Still a long shot for sure and we're guessing the one that got away Saturday still stings, but the longer they are in it, the more the Leafs are enjoying the ride.