The New York Islanders came up short against the Montreal Canadiens, losing 3–2 in overtime on Monday night at the Bell Centre. It was the Islanders’ second visit to Montreal in five days.
The Isles lost 5–1 to Montreal last Thursday, but this time they put in a much better effort and Marty Biron had a solid game between the pipes.
Sloppy defense, however, ended up costing the Isles in overtime. Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec picked his way through the neutral zone, created a 2-on-1, and then floated a perfect pass to Roman Hamrlik, who put it top shelf on Biron.
The Isles also took advantage of poor discipline by the Canadiens. The Canadiens gave the Islanders seven power plays and Jeff Tambellini scored on two of them. Like the Islanders last Thursday, Montreal was penalized twice for too many men on the ice.
First overall draft pick John Tavares had a quiet game for the Islanders. He spoke with French TV station RDS after the first period.
“I’m learning something new every game. I have to get used to a new level now,” said Tavares.
The Islanders don’t have the supporting cast to allow Tavares to flourish. They are a team that tends to beat themselves with mistakes and defensive problems.
But the Islanders gave the Canadiens all they could handle on Monday and Montreal goalie Jaroslav Halak had to make several key saves.
Jaroslav Spacek gave the Habs the lead in the first period off a clever pass from Glen Metropolit. But the Isles answered in the second period as Tambellini picked up a puck in the corner, swooped in on net, and stuffed the puck past Halak.
Travis Moen gave the Habs the lead in the third when he guided in Mike Cammalleri’s centering pass.
With just over four minutes to go in the game, the Islanders assured themselves of a point when Matt Moulson set up Tambellini’s second of the game.
The overtime period didn’t last long as Hamrlik converted Plekanec’s pass at the 1:32 mark.
The Isles fall to 1–4–5 and seem destined to finish last in the Atlantic Conference.
Rangers Beat Coyotes
At Madison Square Garden, Marian Gaborik and Vaclav Prospal each had three points as the New York Rangers handled the Phoenix Coyotes 5–2. The Blueshirts jumped out to a 4–0 lead before the game was half over.
Gaborik now has 18 points on the season, good enough for second in the scoring race behind Anze Kopitar of the L.A. Kings.