for this game

Nielsen nets first goal as Islanders edge Canadiens

Feb 24, 2007 - 10:11 PM
UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) -- A day of firsts for rookie Frans Nielsen helped the New York Islanders draw even with the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Nielsen recorded his first career goal and assist and newly acquired defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron made a pivotal defensive play as the Islanders snapped the Canadiens' three-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory.

The Islanders (31-23-8) improved to 4-1-0 on their seven-game homestand and moved into a tie with the Canadiens (32-26-6) for seventh in the conference with 70 points. The Carolina Hurricanes, who play the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday night, have 69 points.

A native of Denmark playing in his 14th NHL game, Nielsen assisted on a first-period goal by Jeff Tambellini and scored in the third to give New York a 3-1 lead.

Nielsen, who has spent most of the season with Bridgeport of the American Hockey League, got a rare chance Saturday as a fourth-line center.

"The whole season is right now," said Nielsen, who saw just 3 minutes, 28 seconds of ice time. "I understand that they normally stay with three lines. I just have to play well and my time will come."

The Islanders were clinging to a 3-2 lead when Bergeron prevented a game-tying goal with a heady play. With goaltender Rick DiPietro caught out of position, Montreal had a chance to net the equalizer midway through the third period.

But Bergeron, who was acquired in a trade with Edmonton on Sunday, stepped into the crease and stopped Alexander Perezhogin's shot from near the right faceoff circle.

"I went to go cover it up and someone kicked it," DiPietro said. "(Bergeron) made a heads-up play that saved the game for us."

DiPietro made 20 saves and Richard Park had two assists for the Islanders, who have won five of their last six contests and recorded at least one point in 14 of their last 16 games.

It was the first NHL loss for Canadiens rookie goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who had won his first three games in place of the injured Cristobal Huet.

"It's a tough loss for us," Halak said. "They got a little luckier than us in the third period."

Halak, who stopped 28 shots, was a victim of a Montreal team that appeared to come out flat.

"They tired in the third period, and that's when we picked up our game," said Canadiens center Chris Higgins, who scored his team's second goal. "But they played well in the first half and deserved to win."

Tambellini, who played on the same line as Nielsen in Bridgeport, opened the scoring at 2:43 of the first period, putting home a rebound after Nielsen was turned away on a wraparound attempt.

"We played every shift together and had every meal together," Tambellini said. "He can buy dinner (tonight)."

Montreal had a two-man advantage later in the period and capitalized when All-Star defenseman Sheldon Souray scored on a slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle at 13:54.

The Islanders regained the lead a little more than two minutes later on a backhander by Jason Blake from the right circle.

Halak kept the deficit at one in the second with a spectacular glove save on Arron Asham off a 2-on-1 rush with 12 minutes left.

But the success was short-lived as Nielsen took a pass from Park, skated around the fallen goaltender and wristed the puck into the net with 9:08 left in the period.

"I was just surprised that the net was open," Nielsen said.

Higgins, a Long Island native, scored from the left circle early in the third to draw Montreal within 3-2.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 0 1 2
    NY ISLANDERS 2 1 0 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYI - JEFF TAMBELLINI 2 (FRANS NIELSEN, RICHARD PARK) 2:43
    MON - (PP) SHELDON SOURAY 21 (ANDREI MARKOV, SAKU KOIVU)
    13:54
    NYI - JASON BLAKE 29 (VIKTOR KOZLOV, TOM POTI) 15:58
    2ND PRD: NYI - FRANS NIELSEN 1 (RICHARD P

    Feb 24 3:28 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    NY ISLANDERS 3
    3RD PRD: MON - CHRIS HIGGINS 17 (MARK STREIT, SAKU KOIVU) 3:50

    Canadiens vs. IslandersFeb 24 3:02 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 0 1
    NY ISLANDERS 2 1 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NYI - JEFF TAMBELLINI 2 (FRANS NIELSEN, RICHARD PARK) 2:43
    MON - (PP) SHELDON SOURAY 21 (ANDREI MARKOV, SAKU KOIVU)
    13:54
    NYI - JASON BLAKE 29 (VIKTOR KOZLOV, TOM POTI) 15:58
    2ND PRD: NYI - FRANS NIELSEN

    Feb 24 2:37 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    NY ISLANDERS 3
    2ND PRD: NYI - FRANS NIELSEN 1 (RICHARD PARK) 10:52

    Canadiens vs. IslandersFeb 24 2:25 PM


  • ------------------------
    Montreal
    1 --1
    Ny Islanders 2 --2
    ------------------------

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Ny Islanders, Jeff Tambellini 2 (Frans
    Nielsen, Richard Park), 2:43. 2, Montreal, Sheldon Souray 21 (power
    play) (Andrei Markov, Saku Koivu), 13:54. 3, Ny Islanders, Jason Blake
    29 (Viktor Kozlov, Tom Poti), 15:58. Penalties: B Witt, Nyi
    (tripping), 9:12; S Hill, Nyi (holding)

    Feb 24 1:48 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    1ST PRD: NYI - JASON BLAKE 29 (VIKTOR KOZLOV, TOM POTI) 15:58

    Canadiens vs. IslandersFeb 24 1:43 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) SHELDON SOURAY 21 (ANDREI MARKOV, SAKU KOIVU)
    13:54 (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Canadiens vs. IslandersFeb 24 1:36 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 0
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    1ST PRD: NYI - JEFF TAMBELLINI 2 (FRANS NIELSEN, RICHARD PARK) 2:43

    Canadiens vs. IslandersFeb 24 1:17 PM