Two goals in the first period, one in the second and another two more in the third powered the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-1 victory over the Islanders Thursday night. Josh Bailey scored the only goal for the Islanders, coming in the first minute of the third period. With the loss, the Islanders drop to 1-4-3.
Scott Gomez opened the scoring for the Canadiens, 7:55 into the first period when he capitalized on a bouncing puck in front of Islanders’ starter Martin Biron. Radek Martinek attempted to clear the puck by batting it out of the air but was only able to get a piece of the fluttering puck as it fell behind him. Gomez, stationed deep in the zone, snuck in behind the Islander defense and was able to snap the bouncing puck past Biron’s blocker to give Montreal the 1-0 lead. Jaroslav Spacek had the lone assist on Gomez’s second goal of the season.
On the power-play, with about two minutes remaining in the opening frame, former Islander, Marc Andre Bergeron doubled the Canadiens lead to 2-0 with his first goal of the season. Paul Mara slid a feed to Bergeron, who was playing his off-wing at the right point position, where he cranked a one-time shot past Biron. Glen Metropolit also had an assist on the goal, after he sent the puck back to the point after Montreal won the face-off.
New Canaan, Connecticut native, Max Pacioretty would make it 3-0 in favor of the Canadiens. Another broken play in front, Pacioretty was in the right spot to tally his first goal of the season. Metropolit sent the puck towards the net where Biron made the initial save but the puck sat in front for Pacioretty to back-hand through Biron’s legs.
With the Islanders on the penalty-kill, Josh Bailey would break Montreal goaltender, Jaroslav Halak’s bid for his first shutout of the season. Kyle Okposo dumped the puck deep into the Canadiens’ zone where Halak went behind his net to set the play up for his defensemen. In an attempt to move the puck to the left corner, Halak misplayed the puck and Josh Bailey swooped in to steal the puck and tuck it into the open net as Halak frantically tried to recover. The tally was Bailey’s first of the year.
Ten minutes later, Mike Cammalleri regained the three-goal cushion for Montreal as he snapped his second tally as a Canadian through the legs of Biron from the bottom of the right circle. Tomas Plekanec set the play up as he walked in from the high slot, drawing in the Islanders’ defense, before slipping a pass to Cammalleri in the corner. Bergeron also had an assist on the goal giving Montreal the 4-1 lead, 10:35 into the third period. The Canadiens took their biggest lead of the contest at 5-1, only minutes later when Maxim Lapierre jammed his first goal of the season past Biron as he was parked in front of the Islander net. Andrei Kostitsyn and Plekanec earned the assists on the tally.
Biron completed the game stopping 38 of the 43 shots the Canadiens fired at him. Montreal net-minder, Halak earned the win stopping 21 of the 22 shots he faced. The Islanders were 0-for-3 on the power-play but did tally their first short-handed marker of the season on Bailey’s goal. Montreal finished the match-up, 2-for-6 on the man-advantage.
On Saturday, the Islanders will entertain the league’s leading scorer, Alex Ovechkin as he takes to the Nassau Coliseum ice for the first time this season. Game-time is set for 7 p.m. For tickets or information about any upcoming Islanders’ home games, contact the team’s front office at (516) 501-6700 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Glen Metropolit – Two assists
2. Maxim Lapierre – Scored his first goal of the season for Montreal and was all over the ice creating chances and driving the net
3. Marc-Andre Bergeron – Records a goal and an assist against his former team
Honorable Mention: Jaroslav Halak – Was perfect without the miscue behind the net for the only Islander goal
On Both Sides: It is not too often that two teams both have players wearing the number 91. Obviously for the Islanders, John Tavares claims his name to the number but in Montreal, one of the newest members of the club, Scott Gomez, wears number 91. When Gomez was traded and eventually signed by the Canadiens this summer, he was used to wearing the number 19 from prior years with the New York Rangers. The number 19 is retired in honor of Larry Robinson and the only other number Gomez wore in his NHL career was 23 with the New Jersey Devils but unfortunately his new boss, Bob Gainey (Montreal General Manager) wore 23 and has it raised to the Bell Centre rafters.
The Last Time…: About four months ago, the inside of the Bell Centre was a cement floor with a giant stage at the Montreal Canadiens end-zone. National TV stations jam packed the bottom levels as everyone waited for Garth Snow to make his first overall selection at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. The name he announced in John Tavares now sits a point behind the Islanders’ leading scorer. Tonight marks the first time Tavares has returned to the Bell Centre since the day Snow welcomed him to the NHL.
Roadies: The Canadiens spent the first five games this season on the road. They began the campaign in Toronto then in Buffalo two nights later. Their next three games were played in Western Canada against the Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers. Their game against the Islanders Thursday marked the mid-way point of a six-game home-stand they are on. On Monday when the Islanders return to Montreal, they will complete the home-stand. LINEUPS
26 Matt Moulson – 91 John Tavares – 20 Sean Bergenheim
15 Jeff Tambellini – 12 Josh Bailey – 57 Blake Comeau
13 Rob Schremp – 51 Frans Nielsen – 21 Kyle Okposo
11 Nate Thompson – 10 Richard Park – 28 Tim Jackman
44 Freddy Meyer – 32 Brendan Witt
38 Jack Hillen – 25 Andy Sutton
2 Mark Streit – 24 Radek Martinek
43 Martin Biron (starter)
30 Dwayne Roloson
13 Mike Cammalleri – 91 Scott Gomez – 21 Brian Gionta
46 Andrei Kostitsyn – 14 Tomas Plekanec – 40 Maxim Lapierre
32 Travis Moen – 15 Glen Metropolit – 67 Max Pacioretty
84 Guillaume Latendresse – 28 Kyle Chipchura – 36 Matt D’Agostini
44 Roman Hamrlik – 6 Jaroslav Spacek
47 Marc-Andre Bergeron – 22 Paul Mara
75 Hal Gill – 26 Josh Gorges
41 Jaroslav Halak (starter)
31 Carey Price
1 - 0 MTL
2 - 0 MTL
3 - 0 MTL
3 - 1 MTL
4 - 1 MTL
5 - 1 MTL
Too many men/ice - bench
Too many men/ice - bench