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Canadiens 5, Islanders 3

Islanders showed resiliency to come back from two-goal deficit as Bailey and Tavares net third-period goals, but Canadiens late surge leaves Isles without a point

Tuesday, 12.13.2011 / 11:03 PM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Canadiens 5, Islanders 3
Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano summarized last night’s 5-3 loss to the Montreal Canaidens best:

“We were down by two goals and we kept coming,” he said. “We didn’t quit. Those guys aren’t going to quit. That’s part of the effort tonight. There’s no excuse for losing and sometimes you get sick and tired of hearing it, but this was a game I thought we should have come out with a point.”

Josh Bailey tries to get his stick on a loose puck in front of goaltender Carey Price during the NHL game on December 13, 2011 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)
After jumping out to a 1-0 lead on Matt Moulson’s 15th goal of the season in the first, the Canadiens scored three unanswered goals. But the Islanders were not beat. Josh Bailey and John Tavares each scored in the third to tie the score at three at 11:28.

“I thought we played pretty well in the third,” Bailey said. “We dominated a majority of the play, we played sound defensively and we got rewarded with a couple goals, but it was a tough goal at the end of the game. Grabby (Michael Grabner) took his guy to the net and did the right thing and then they make a change and their guy comes off the bench, Monty is screened. It was unfortunate timing.”

Both Bailey and Tavares’ goals were the result of hard work and persistence. A heads-up play from Brian Rolston and timing from Bailey around the crease cut the differential 3-2 at 5:18. The Isles evened the score at 11:28; PA Parenteau’s pass from behind the goal found Tavares who poked at Price to strike for the gritty goal around the paint.

The Habs caught their second wind when, rushing off the bench, former Islanders forward Petteri Nokelainen scored on a slap shot at the blue line to beat Montoya at 13:45 and retake the Canadiens lead, 4-3.

“I couldn’t see it. It was off the bar and in,” Montoya said. “We did a great job of coming back in that game, but I’m not going to make an excuse. That was a great shot off the post and (I had) no eyes on it.”

Rolston said: “We got caught in our end a little bit, we had got caught a little bit tired and I think someone had changed, (Nokelainen) came off the bench and we just lost coverage there. And I don’t think Al really saw it until the last minute there. It’s just one of those things, but we can play a better team game. We have to get points.”

An empty net goal from Hall Gill at 19:09 of the third sealed the Canadiens win.

Matt Moulson shoots the puck past Carey Price to score during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on December 13, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
The Islanders penalty kill was tested in the second period as they were shorthanded for 7:24 and Montoya helped keep the Isles in the game as he made 15 saves.

Moulson scored the first goal of the night at 7:50 of the first period, but the lead was short-lived. Andrei Kostitsyn at 9:15 and Mathieu Darche took the Canadiens first lead, 2-1, at 13:28.

“We had some plays we were trying to force a little too much instead of trying to keep it simple and chip it in and get our forecheck going,” Moulson said. “They’re a really good transition team. They have a lot of guys that are good offensively and once we started chipping (pucks) in again and got back to our game, we started to get some pressure back.”

Showing resiliency is something the Islanders have demonstrated more and more lately. To go on and lose the game without earning a point or two is unacceptable, according to the Isles.

“They were up by two goals and we came back and tied it,” Rolston said. “We showed some resilience coming back for sure, but it’s not good enough. We can talk about having games in hand all day long, but we have to win these games and we have to be better.”

Bailey added, “We have to find a way. These are important games. These are teams we need to start passing and gaining ground in the standings. It’s a tough loss.”

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Okposo 49 15 26 -7 41
J. Tavares 48 19 21 -4 40
F. Nielsen 51 15 18 0 33
B. Nelson 51 20 11 1 31
M. Grabovski 51 9 15 2 24
J. Bailey 50 9 15 5 24
N. Leddy 51 3 20 -8 23
A. Lee 51 7 15 1 22
R. Strome 40 5 14 -6 19
C. Clutterbuck 50 11 4 6 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 12 11 4 .917 2.28
T. Greiss 14 6 2 .929 2.26
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