Montreal at New York

Canadiens score four straight in third period to rally past Islanders


UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Montreal Canadiens were happy to mount a four-goal, third-period comeback, but quite upset to have been in that position in the first place.

Alexei Kovalev's second goal of the game with 4:41 left capped the rally that lifted the Canadiens to a 5-4 victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday.

"The good thing about tonight is that we showed character and that we'll fight to the end," Kovalev said. "Our biggest problem so far this season is that when other teams skate and put pressure on us, we get out of our game."

Kovalev's close-in shot beat Yann Danis, a goalie making his first NHL start in nearly three years, and gave the Canadiens their third straight win.

"Obviously, losing a game when you're up 4-1 is never a good thing," Danis said. "They got a couple of lucky bounces and capitalized on them."

Danis, the Islanders' third-string goalie, could be in line for more action with regular backup Joey MacDonald because No. 1 netminder Rick DiPietro will be out four-to-six weeks following knee surgery on Friday.

The Canadiens got two goals and two assists from Tomas Plekanec and one from Long Island native Christopher Higgins. Carey Price made 27 saves.

Former Canadiens defenseman Mark Streit scored for the Islanders, along with Jon Sim, Bill Guerin and Frans Nielsen.

The Islanders are winless in six games (0-5-1) since a 4-3 overtime victory at Tampa Bay on Oct. 16. Danis, who spent time in the Canadiens organization, stopped 27 shots.

"The biggest thing was there were a lot of shortcuts," Islanders coach Scott Gordon said. "It wasn't because of anything they did differently. The loosening up in front of the net and the shot area, that shouldn't happen."

Montreal took a 1-0 lead 2:03 in when Kovalev took Plekanec's pass in the low slot and beat Danis with a quick wrist shot.

New York tied it at 3:47 on its first power play. Streit ripped a right point slap shot that beat a screened Price.

Streit found it difficult to face his former team.

"I played a long time in Montreal," Streit said. "It's not easy the first time. I tried to do my job the best I could."

The Islanders took their first lead after a span of 317 minutes, 4 seconds of playing time over five games when Sim sent a slap shot from the top of the left circle between Price's pads at 12:27 that made it 2-1. New York hadn't been ahead in a game since Oct. 16 when the Islanders beat Tampa Bay in overtime.

New York capitalized on another power play early in the second period to grab a 3-1 lead when Guerin scored on a tip-in.

Nielsen made it 4-1 on an in-close wrist shot that hit the top of the net at 16:43.

Plekanec scored twice in a 2:07 span to close the gap to 4-3 in the third period. His first goal came at 7:48 on a rebound, and his second, at 9:55 was scored with a quick wrist shot.

Danis was not happy with Plekanec's first goal.

"It just bounced off my glove," Danis said. "It's one I should have had."

Higgins tied it at 14:06.

"We played one period, and we won," Higgins said. "I wish the effort was more consistent for 60 minutes."

Streit said the Islanders didn't play at all in the final 20 minutes.

"For two periods, we really played well," Streit said. "Then we didn't skate anymore. We just waited. We gave them space and time. We didn't forecheck, we didn't backcheck. We just watched."


  • The Islanders debuted their third jerseys, which look like the first uniform the team wore back in the early 1970s. One difference is that the stick in the logo has four stripes instead of the usual three, to signify each of New York's Stanley Cup championships.
  • Price had allowed only 13 goals in his first seven games for a goals-against average of 1.91.
Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Neither goalie Yann Danis nor defenseman Mark Streit can prevent Alexei Kovalev from scoring. (AP)
Neither goalie Yann Danis nor defenseman Mark Streit can prevent Alexei Kovalev from scoring. (AP)
Related Links
Montreal  (8-1-1) «1045
NY Islanders (2-7-1)2204
Three Stars
A. Kovalev

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 2
T. Plekanec

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 2
F. Nielsen

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

Scoring Summary
02:03Alexei Kovalev (4), Snap Shot. Assist: Plekanec, Hamrlik
03:47Power Play - Mark Streit (4), Slap Shot. Assist: Comrie, Weight
12:27Jon Sim (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Nielsen, Hunter
01:40Power Play - Bill Guerin (4), Tip-In. Assist: Weight, Hunter
16:43Frans Nielsen (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bergenheim, Park
07:48Tomas Plekanec (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Kovalev, Markov
09:55Tomas Plekanec (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Kostitsyn, Kovalev
14:06Christopher Higgins (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Koivu
15:19Alexei Kovalev (5), Tip-In. Assist: Markov, Plekanec
Penalty Summary
02:39Markov, 2 min, Holding
17:43Latendresse, 2 min, Hooking
57.0Tanguay, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
01:59Fritz, 5 min, Fighting
01:59Laraque, 5 min, Fighting
03:54Kovalev, 2 min, Hooking
12:17Pock, 2 min, Hooking
41.0Streit, 2 min, Interference
04:20Pock, 2 min, Tripping
Shots On Goal
New York1413431
Carey Price60:00274
Yann Danis59:06275
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
NY Islanders2-for-4
Game Information
Attendance - 14429
Referees - Dean Morton, Tom Kowal
Linesmen - Derek Amell, David Brisebois
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