The Islanders celebrate after teammate Josh Bailey scored against the Maple Leafs...

The Islanders celebrate after teammate Josh Bailey scored against the Maple Leafs during third-period NHL game action in Toronto on Monday. Credit: The Canadian Press via AP/Christopher Katsarov

The Islanders returned home very early Tuesday morning 20 games into their 82-game schedule, one quarter of the way into what they believed would be – and are now even more convinced will be – a bounce-back season.

“We’ve put some really good games together,” captain Anders Lee said. “A couple of good stretches. We’re always looking to build and looking to get better. Not every night is going to be perfect.”

The Islanders (12-8-0) rallied for a 3-2 overtime win on Monday night against the Maple Leafs to snap a two-game losing streak and finish their longest road trip to date 2-2-0. They face the Oilers on Wednesday night at UBS Arena, the second game in a stretch of four in six nights and part of a grueling November in which they play 10 of 15 away from home.

Their longest losing streak is three games – Oct. 22-26 – but they have won 10 of their last 14.

“The energy in the room is good,” said Anthony Beauvillier, who scored the overtime winner against the Maple Leafs. “A positive record. We feel good about our game. I feel like we always give ourselves a chance to win the game, or at least get a point every night.”

The Islanders have rallied to win five of the 12 times they’ve yielded the first goal.

Goalies Ilya Sorokin (8-5-0, 2.37 goals-against average, .926 save percentage) and Semyon Varlamov (4-3-0, 2.97, .914) have allowed the Islanders to stay close, even in most games when they’re not at their best. The Islanders’ goal differential of plus-11 ranked sixth in the NHL.

Last season, the Islanders’ goal differential of minus-six was 19th as they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2018.

On Tuesday, an off day for the team after the week-long road trip, the Islanders held one of the Eastern Conference’s eight playoff spots. In the NHL, slightly more than 75% of teams in a postseason position at Thanksgiving go on to qualify for the playoffs.

The Islanders went to back-to-back NHL semifinals in 2020 and 2021.

“You can say anything about last year but we know what’s within the room,” Beauvillier said. “There’s nothing done yet but I feel like we’re on the right way.”

There are some issues, of course. The Islanders have struggled to put together 60-minute efforts and faster teams have given them fits when the Islanders struggle with their defensive zone exits. Coach Lane Lambert still hasn’t settled on his lines, particularly who bests complements top playmaker Mathew Barzal. The penalty kill, which started the season 28-for-28, has allowed a power-play goal in 10 of the last 12 games.

“I think we’ve made a lot of progress from Day 1,” Lambert said. “There are certain areas that we know we need to improve on and we’ll continue to work on. We’re not unhappy with our record right now.”

Notes & quotes: The Maple Leafs placed defenseman Morgan Rielly (knee) on long-term injured reserve after his third-period collision with Kyle Palmieri.

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