Maybe the best way to understand how differently the Islanders are playing under Patrick Roy is to start with this: in their 3-2 win over the Maple Leafs on Monday, the Isles iced the puck just twice.

Understand, this was not a game that the Islanders dominated by any stretch. Especially in the back half of the game, the Leafs came with an offensive push. Ilya Sorokin made 35 saves. Toronto finished the game with 18 high-danger chances.

There were shifts — a whole lot of them — where the Islanders appeared hemmed into their own zone.

Never, though, did it appear that they were sitting back and trying to win the game 2-1. And rarely did they settle for clearing the puck down the ice.

That is a whole lot different than how things were under Lane Lambert, when the Islanders seemingly could not get a lead without blowing it.

“I thought we did a really good job [defending],” Roy said. “After two periods of play, I think it was 21-22 shots in our favor and it stayed like this for a long time. I just felt like we were in control.

“We’ve been up and down for the last 10 games, so sometimes the confidence, you get a little nervous. But I felt like the guys were calm. They were under control. I loved that, too.”

Despite spending much of the game holding the lead, the Islanders nearly matched Toronto in the shot count at five-on-five, with the Leafs leading 25-23 at the end of the night.

The Isles also outscored the Leafs 3-0 at five-on-five — Toronto’s first goal came at four-on-four, its second came on the power play.

Of course, the Islanders didn’t end up holding the 2-1 lead they had over Toronto, giving up one after Oliver Wahlstrom took a penalty to set up a late winner from Pierre Engvall.

But all of this points to a mindset that has been much more attack-oriented under Roy at five-on-five, even when the Islanders are leading.

It’s a small sample, just 60:58 over five games. But since Roy has taken over, the Islanders have produced 47.6 percent of expected goals and 46.03 percent of scoring chances while holding a lead at five-on-five, per Natural Stat Trick.

In 787:09 while leading at five-on-five under Lambert, they produced just 4.44 percent of expected goals and 43.2 percent of scoring chances.

That sounds like a small difference. It’s not.

Allowing more scoring chances is normal when a team is leading. But the Islanders took that to an extreme under Lambert, and it had a tendency to cost them.

Twenty-two out of 31 times holding a two-goal lead under Lambert, they allowed the next goal. And they blew leads entirely in cataclysmic losses to Detroit, Carolina, San Jose, New Jersey, Boston and Nashville.

If they’d held onto even half of those games, the Islanders would be in a playoff spot right now and Lambert might still be the head coach.

Those results happen on the margins. An icing here, a stray offensive-zone shift there can make all the difference.

When Sorokin is seeing more shots than any goalie in the league, any way the Islanders can ease up the pressure on him — even temporarily — is welcome.

Monday wasn’t exactly perfect; the biggest thing the Isles could do to help would be cutting out poorly timed penalties and fixing a penalty kill that ranks dead last league-wide, and both those problems continued.

But the marginal gains at five-on-five might have helped make the difference against the Leafs. And they may keep paying dividends in the future.

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