MONTREAL -- A pair of power-play goals late in the second period cost the New York Islanders Sunday night, as they fell 4-2 to the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.
Lars Eller and Michael Bournival scored 2:50 apart in the final four minutes of the second period, putting the Canadiens up 3-1. Bournival’s deflection at 19:04 held up as the eventual winner.
“We’re right there again and bang-bang, two power-play goals,” head coach Jack Capuano said summing up the loss.
The Islanders battled back in the third period, cutting the deficit with one of their two power-play goals. Brock Nelson, who skated on the top-line in place of the injured Thomas Vanek, redirected a John Tavares pass off his skate and past Carey Price for his second goal of the season.
“Dougie (assistant coach Doug Weight) said to just get in the paint and take away (Price’s) eyes,” Nelson. “It came from down low, Johnny made a nice play to get it to me and I was able to get a stick and skate on it.”
Tavares finished the game with two assists, as he also dished the puck to Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who slapped home his third of the season in the second period. Eller (one goal, two assists) and Alex Galchenyuk (one goal, two assists) each had three points for the Canadiens.
Montreal, Que., native Kevin Poulin started in his hometown for the first time on Sunday, making 27 saves in the loss. Poulin shrugged off the noise and pressure of the Bell Centre turning in another solid game for the Islanders, controlling his rebounds and using an active stick to break up passes down low. Two of the four goals that beat Poulin were deflections.
“I was excited, but was looking for the win obviously,” Poulin said of playing at home for the first time. “It didn’t turn out the way I was imagining it.”
Price stopped 24 of 26 for the win and Brendan Gallagher rounded out the scoring for the Canadiens.
The Islanders return home after a four-game trip and host the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m.
Max Pacioretty – Tomas Plekanec – Brian Gionta
Alex Galchenyuk – Lars Eller – Brendan Gallagher
Michael Bournival – David Desharnais – Rene Bourque
Travis Moen – Ryan White – Gabriel Dumont
Andrei Markov – P.K. Subban
Josh Georges – Raphael Diaz
Douglas Murray – Francis Boullion