for this game

Third-period rally leads Canadiens over Islanders

Nov 2, 2008 - 3:16 AM UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) -- Tomas Plekanec and Alexei Kovalev showed the New York Islanders why no lead is safe in the NHL.

Plekanec scored goals just over two minutes apart and Kovalev capped a four-goal outburst in the third period with his second of the game as the Montreal Canadiens rallied for a 5-4 victory over the hapless Islanders on Saturday.

Kovalev opened the scoring two minutes into the game, but the Islanders netted four straight goals en route to a 4-1 lead after two periods. Plekanec ignited Montreal's outburst less than eight minutes into the third and drew the Canadiens within one at 9:55 with his second of the night.

"In the third period, we started skating and they couldn't keep up with us," Plekanec said. "In the first two, we were making stupid mistakes."

Chris Higgins forged a 4-4 tie with 5:54 remaining, and Kovalev netted the decisive tally 73 seconds later as the Canadiens outshot the Islanders, 16-4, in the third.

"We worked in the third period - that's it," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said. "I don't think we worked in the first two periods. ... What we did in the third was, we got on the ice and made them work in their own zone. We got pressure and they took some penalties, and then the momentum started going our way."

Plekanec and Kovalev also added two assists apiece and Carey Price made 27 saves for the Canadiens, who have won three in a row.

Defenseman Mark Streit, Jon Sim, captain Bill Guerin and Frans Nielsen scored for New York, which has lost six straight.

"I take my hat off to (the Canadiens), but there is no reason we couldn't have weathered the storm," Islanders coach Scott Gordon said. "I don't know if in the last four games we had as much circling as we had in the third period."

After Kovalev beat former Montreal goaltender Yann Danis to the stick side from the slot at 2:03 of the opening period, New York stormed back with four straight goals to seemingly take control. However, the Canadiens had other plans as Plekanec knocked in a rebound from in front at 7:48 of the third and converted a backhand pass by Andrei Kostitsyn 2:07 later to cut the deficit to 4-3.

"He finally got the break that he needed," Carbonneau said of Plekanec, who entered with just one goal in his first nine games. "He's easy to coach and takes responsibility."

"The way he's been playing, it's poetic justice that he got points," Higgins added.

A native of Long Island, Higgins knotted the contest just over 14 minutes into the final session, receiving a backhand feed from behind the net by captain Saku Koivu as three defenders watched idly and beat Danis from alone on the doorstep.

"The biggest thing is, there were a lot of shortcuts (on our part)," Gordon said. "It wasn't because of anything they did differently. The loosening up in front of our net and the shot area, that shouldn't happen."

"We just stopped playing. We didn't skate anymore, we just waited," Streit said. "We gave them the space and the time. Teams like that, they're going to take advantage. It was kind of like a collapse. It hurts a lot."

Higgins admitted his team was lucky to escape with two points.

"We played one period and we won," he said. "I wish the effort was more consistent over 60 minutes. We lost too many 1-on-1 battles in the first two periods, and they took it to us. We didn't play smart."

With momentum completely on the side of the Canadiens, defenseman Andrei Markov unleashed a shot from the left point. Standing in the slot, Kovalev got the blade of his stick on the puck, which also caromed off the skate of blue-liner Thomas Pock before getting past Danis with 4:41 left, putting Montreal ahead.

"Usually, other teams would destroy us (in that situation)," Kovalev said. "The good thing was that we showed character and (that) we'll fight to the end."

"Obviously, Montreal's a good team, but I was still feeling good (in the third)," said Danis, who made 27 saves. "They got a couple of lucky bounces and they capitalized on them. It's extremely disappointing. Obviously, losing a game when you're up 4-1 is never a good thing."

Trailing, 1-0, New York forged a tie when Streit - a former Canadien - beat Price high to the glove side during a power play at 3:47 of the first with a slap shot from the right point that deflected off a defender's stick on its way to the net. Sim put the Islanders ahead, 2-1, with 7:33 to go in the session, firing a wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle past Price for a soft goal.

It was the 100th career point for Sim, who gave New York its first lead in over 317 minutes.

Guerin doubled the advantage during a power play at 1:40 of the middle period, redirecting Doug Weight's shot past Price, and Nielsen made it a three-goal bulge with 3:17 left by beating the netminder high to the glove side from alone in front.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 0 4 5
    NY ISLANDERS 2 2 0 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 4 (TOMAS PLEKANEC, ROMAN HAMRLIK) 2:03
    NYI - (PP) MARK STREIT 4 (MIKE COMRIE, DOUG WEIGHT) 3:47
    NYI - JON SIM 2 (FRANS NIELSEN, TRENT HUNTER) 12:27
    2ND PRD: NYI - (PP) BILL GUERIN 4 (DOUG WEIGHT,

    Nov 1 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 5
    NY ISLANDERS 4
    3RD PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 5 (ANDREI MARKOV, TOMAS PLEKANEC) 15:19

    Canadiens 5, Islanders 4  3rd - 4:41Nov 1 9:25 PM
  • 9
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    RUWTbot Took away 54 roots (Close Finish)

    Canadiens 5, Islanders 4  3rd - 4:41Nov 1 9:25 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 4
    NY ISLANDERS 4
    3RD PRD: MON - CHRIS HIGGINS 1 (SAKU KOIVU) 14:06

    Canadiens 4, Islanders 4  3rd - 5:54Nov 1 9:24 PM
  • 63
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    RUWTbot Added 32 roots (Close Finish)

    Canadiens 4, Islanders 4  3rd - 5:54Nov 1 9:24 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 3
    NY ISLANDERS 4
    3RD PRD: MON - TOMAS PLEKANEC 3 (ANDREI KOSTITSYN, ALEXEI KOVALEV)
    9:55

    Canadiens 3, Islanders 4  3rd - 10:05Nov 1 9:18 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    NY ISLANDERS 4
    3RD PRD: MON - TOMAS PLEKANEC 2 (ALEXEI KOVALEV, ANDREI MARKOV) 7:48

    Canadiens 2, Islanders 4  3rd - 12:12Nov 1 9:10 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 0 1
    NY ISLANDERS 2 2 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 4 (TOMAS PLEKANEC, ROMAN HAMRLIK) 2:03
    NYI - (PP) MARK STREIT 4 (MIKE COMRIE, DOUG WEIGHT) 3:47
    NYI - JON SIM 2 (FRANS NIELSEN, TRENT HUNTER) 12:27
    2ND PRD: NYI - (PP) BILL GUERIN 4 (

    Nov 1 8:39 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    NY ISLANDERS 4
    2ND PRD: NYI - FRANS NIELSEN 1 (SEAN BERGENHEIM, RICHARD PARK) 16:43

    Canadiens 1, Islanders 4  2nd - 3:17Nov 1 8:33 PM
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    Canadiens 1, Islanders 3  2nd - 7:58Nov 1 8:21 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    NY ISLANDERS 3
    2ND PRD: NYI - (PP) BILL GUERIN 4 (DOUG WEIGHT, TRENT HUNTER) 1:40

    Canadiens 1, Islanders 3  2nd - 18:20Nov 1 8:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 1 1
    NY ISLANDERS 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 4 (TOMAS PLEKANEC, ROMAN HAMRLIK) 2:03
    NYI - (PP) MARK STREIT 4 (MIKE COMRIE, DOUG WEIGHT) 3:47
    NYI - JON SIM 2 (FRANS NIELSEN, TRENT HUNTER) 12:27
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD

    Nov 1 7:44 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    NY ISLANDERS 2
    1ST PRD: NYI - JON SIM 2 (FRANS NIELSEN, TRENT HUNTER) 12:27

    Canadiens 1, Islanders 2  1st - 7:33Nov 1 7:31 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    NY ISLANDERS 1
    1ST PRD: NYI - (PP) MARK STREIT 4 (MIKE COMRIE, DOUG WEIGHT) 3:47

    Canadiens 1, Islanders 1  1st - 16:13Nov 1 7:18 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    NY ISLANDERS 0
    1ST PRD: MON - ALEXEI KOVALEV 4 (TOMAS PLEKANEC, ROMAN HAMRLIK) 2:03

    Canadiens 1, Islanders 0  1st - 17:57Nov 1 7:15 PM