for this game

Canadiens keep Islanders slumping

Feb 2, 2008 - 11:25 PM
MONTREAL (Ticker) -- The Montreal Canadiens finally are feeling comfortable at home.

Alexei Kovalev recorded a goal and an assist as the Canadiens defeated the slumping New York Islanders, 4-1, on Saturday for their third straight home win.

Special-teams play proved decisive for Montreal, as Tomas Plekanec scored a shorthanded goal and defenseman Mark Streit converted on the power play during a three-goal second period.

Cristobal Huet registered 29 saves for the Canadiens, who have won four of five at home to improve to 11-8-5 at the Bell Centre.

"I think we try to stay with our game plan, play smart and outwork the other team," Huet said. "If we play like the way we do on the road, I'd say we'll keep going, pretty much."

The Islanders, who have fallen into a tie for ninth place in the Eastern Conference, dropped their fourth straight and continue to struggle offensively. They have managed just five goals during the losing streak.

"Guys are trying, guys are doing their best, but right now it's not good enough," New York captain Bill Guerin said. "We've got to start getting results. Tonight was a much better effort than we've had the last couple of games, but we had trouble generating offense.

"It's a matter of us bearing down and making the most of our opportunities. They're few and far between in this league. Teams are so good defensively now that you have to take advantage of offensive opportunities."

For the season, the Islanders have scored 128 goals, tying them with the New Jersey Devils for the fewest in the conference.

New York did not help its cause by going 0-for-6 on the power play, including a 5-on-3 advantage for 54 seconds late in the first period.

"It's frustrating," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said. "The power play hasn't been going all that well, and when we get quality chances, they go off goalposts or just miss the net.

"It gets frustrating after a while, but frustration is something you can't let creep in. We just have to get back to the drawing board and play our way through this."

After the Islanders failed to cash in during the two-man advantage, Plekanec opened the scoring just 37 seconds into the middle period.

Kovalev made it happen when he intercepted Guerin's pass at Montreal's blue line, raced into the offensive zone and dropped a pass to Plekanec, who was trailing the play. Plekanec fired a wrist shot over All-Star goaltender Rick DiPietro's right shoulder to give Montreal the lead.

New York pulled even at 5:01, when rookie Blake Comeau converted a 2-on-1 rush by sliding a backhander past a diving Huet. The puck bounced over the goal line after hitting the right post.

However, the Islanders' Trent Hunter took a tripping penalty at 6:57, and Streit snapped the tie 35 seconds into the power play.

Canadiens captain Saku Koivu feathered a pass between the legs of Islanders defenseman Bruno Gervais to Streit, who ripped a slap shot from the left faceoff circle into the left corner of the net.

"We talked about it before the game," DiPietro said. "They are a great transition team and they feed on mistakes. I don't think you can try to run-and-gun with a team like the Canadiens. They're a fast, quick team."

Kovalev scored his 23rd goal with 7:25 left in the period, wristing a shot between DiPietro's legs.

"That shot, I saw (DiPietro) was ready to come across," Kovalev said. "He was expecting me to pass to the other side. I just caught him off-guard and he was already on the move, and I caught him between the five-hole."

Mathieu Dandenault completed the scoring with 2:39 left in the contest.

DiPietro stopped 28 shots for the Islanders.

"It gets old going to the rink and losing all the time," DiPietro said. "It's something we have to snap out of."

The Canadiens complete their "New York-New York" weekend by hosting the Rangers on Sunday afternoon.






  • 5
    roots
    MetsFan Added 5 roots

    Islanders vs. CanadiensFeb 9 8:28 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 0 1 0 1
    MONTREAL 0 3 1 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MON - (SH) TOMAS PLEKANEC 17 (ALEXEI KOVALEV) 0:37
    NYI - BLAKE COMEAU 4 (MIROSLAV SATAN) 5:01
    MON - (PP) MARK STREIT 8 (SAKU KOIVU, CHRIS HIGGINS) 7:32
    MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 23 (ANDREI MARKOV) 12:35
    3RD P

    Feb 2 4:39 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    MONTREAL 4
    3RD PRD: MON - MATHIEU DANDENAULT 7 (MARK STREIT, ANDREI MARKOV) 17:21

    Islanders vs. CanadiensFeb 2 4:36 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 0 1 1
    MONTREAL 0 3 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MON - (SH) TOMAS PLEKANEC 17 (ALEXEI KOVALEV) 0:37
    NYI - BLAKE COMEAU 4 (MIROSLAV SATAN) 5:01
    MON - (PP) MARK STREIT 8 (SAKU KOIVU, CHRIS HIGGINS) 7:32
    MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 23 (ANDREI MARKOV

    Feb 2 3:46 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    MONTREAL 3
    2ND PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 23 (ANDREI MARKOV) 12:35

    Islanders vs. CanadiensFeb 2 3:33 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    MONTREAL 2
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) MARK STREIT 8 (SAKU KOIVU, CHRIS HIGGINS) 7:32

    Islanders vs. CanadiensFeb 2 3:23 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    MONTREAL 1
    2ND PRD: NYI - BLAKE COMEAU 4 (MIROSLAV SATAN) 5:01

    Islanders vs. CanadiensFeb 2 3:16 PM


  • NHL
    NY ISLANDERS 0
    MONTREAL 1
    2ND PRD: MON - (SH) TOMAS PLEKANEC 17 (ALEXEI KOVALEV) 0:37

    Islanders vs. CanadiensFeb 2 3:10 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NY ISLANDERS 0 0
    MONTREAL 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NYI 7 7
    MON 9 9
    GOALIES: NYI - RICK DIPIETRO
    MON - CRISTOBAL HUET

    Feb 2 2:46 PM