Islanders score one in third, but can't get equalizer
Tomas Plekanec's two goals proved to be enough as the Islanders got within one in the third period, but ultimately fell 3-1 to the Montreal Canadiens, Tuesday night at the Nassau Coliseum.
"We tried our best to compensate against the long road trip with shorter shifts," said head coach Ted Nolan. "To come off of a trip like this, it was tough to overcome, but I give the guys a lot of credit. It just wasn't good enough."
Plekanec tallied his 15th and 16th goals of the season, the first at even strength in the opening period and then a shorthanded tally in the second period. Cristobal Huet was hardly tested in the first period, only facing one shot on goal. Huet finished the game with 17 saves and his 14th win. Rick DiPietro earned the loss, stopping 19 shots.
"We started off the first seven minutes okay, but then we had that lull and they capitalized," said Nolan. "If you give teams so many opportunities while they're shorthanded, they're going to capitalize."
The Islanders hit two goal posts late in the second period and picked up some momentum on Richard Park's third period goal, but they couldn't generate the equalizer.
"If those those two ones that hit the posts go in, then it's a totally different game," said Nolan. "I thought the second period, going into the third period, we found our legs."
With 6:11 to play in the first period, Plekanec made it 1-0 Islanders when he ripped a high slap shot past DiPietro.
Plekanec scored his second goal of the game on a wrist shot from the slot, while shorthanded at 5:35 of the second period.
Park's second effort paid off for the Islanders' lone goal of the game with 9:04 left in the third period. Bill Guerin got the play started when he flung the puck on goal from the right point.
Alexei Kovalev closed out the scoring with an empty net goal.
The Islanders go right back to work tomorrow night against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center. The Islanders look to continue their perfect 4-0-0 record against New Jersey.
Five Stars of the Game: 1. Tomas Plekanec: Did all the damage with a blast and a tricky wrist shot 2. Alexei Kovalev: Finished with a goal and an assist 3. Richard Park: Made it interesting with a hard-working goal 4. Mike Komisarek: Led Montreal with four hits 5. Andrei Markov: Rock solid on defense with six blocked shots
Stat of the Game: The Canadiens blocked 25 shots, while the Islanders blocked eight.
Slapshots: The Islanders fell to 5-6-0 on the first night of a back-to-back…The Islanders are 1-1-1 on Tuesdays...The Islanders have allowed nine shorthanded goals on the season.
Turning Point: Already with one goal on the night, Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec really dashed the Islanders' hope of getting back in the game. With the Islanders on the power play, Plekanec raced into the Islanders zone with linemate Alexei Kovalev. Kovalev made a perfect pass to Plekanec and he did the rest of the work. Plekanec put it past Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro for his second goal of the game. That goal ended up being the difference on the night.
Fans of the Game: Freddy, on the right, from Floral Park ironically cites Freddy Meyer as his favorite Islander. It's a worthy choice considering how well Meyer has played recently.
Game Operations: One lucky contestant came away with an Islanders prize package after picking the top selection in the Islanders Family Feud Game…The American Airlines frisbee toss earned one fan two free tickets to Los Angeles…Today's Know Your Islander featured Sean Bergenheim, who said his favorite food was anything spicy...The game ops crew created a congratulatory video for 2008 NHL All-Star Rick DiPietro.
Check out the Islanders TV Game Day tab for complete coverage of tonight’s game.
44 Freddy Meyer – 8 Bruno Gervais
25 Andy Sutton – 47 Marc-Andre Bergeron
14 Chris Campoli – 4 Bryan Berard
10 Richard Park – 89 Mike Comrie – 13 Bill Guerin
26 Ruslan Fedotenko – 18 Mike Sillinger – 7 Trent Hunter
20 Sean Bergenheim– 63 Josef Vasicek – 81 Miroslav Satan
28 Tim Jackman – 11 Andy Hilbert – 57 Blake Comeau
Goaltenders 39 Cristobal Huet
31 Carey Price
79 Andrei Markov - 8 Mike Komisarek
44 Roman Hamrlik - 32 Mark Streit
51 Francis Bouillon – 26 Josh Gorges
84 Guillaume Latendresse - 11 Saku Koivu – 74 Sergei Kostitsyn
46 Andrei Kostitsyn - 14 Tomas Plekanec - 27 Alexei Kovalev
21 Chris Higgins - 20 Bryan Smolinski - 73 Michael Ryder
25 Mathieu Dandenault – 40 Maxim Lapierre - 6 Tom Kostopoulos
Additional reporting by Andrew Scharff and Christopher Musto
1 - 0 MTL
2 - 0 MTL
2 - 1 MTL
3 - 1 MTL