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Rick DiPietro steps in to lift Islanders by Canadiens

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The New York Islanders started the day
with the worst record in the Eastern Conference and then they lost
their starting goalie in the first period.

But Rick DiPietro made sure they didn't lose the most important
thing, Thursday night's home game against the Montreal Canadiens.

DiPietro made 24 saves in relief of injured starter Evgeni
Nabokov, and Matt Moulson scored a key goal in the Islanders' 4-3
victory that broke a four-game skid.

"Tonight was a big step in the right direction," said
DiPietro, who earned his first NHL relief win. "We need to play
with some desperation and urgency."

P.A. Parenteau, Jay Pandolfo, and Mark Streit also scored for
the Islanders, 0-3-1 in their previous four. New York, which scored
all of its goals in the second period, held on after taking a 3-0
lead.

"We just took advantage," said forward John Tavares, who was
plus-one with an assist in 18:58 of ice time. "We managed to hold
the boat. We played pretty well and we used the offensive zone
really well."

DiPietro replaced Nabokov 7:55 in after Nabokov injured a groin
while making a pad save on Yannick Weber. Nabokov, who made two
saves, will be re-evaluated on Friday.

Max Pacioretty, Erik Cole and Brian Gionta scored for the
Canadiens, who beat Carolina at home on Wednesday. Peter Budaj
stopped 29 shots. Montreal had won three of four.

The Islanders built their 3-0 lead within a 9:08 span in the
second period and led 4-2 at intermission. Parenteau opened the
scoring 41 seconds in with a backhander that went in off of Budaj.

"It's nice to get a little bit of luck," Parenteau said. "We
were moving the puck pretty well after that."

Pandolfo tipped in a centering feed from Josh Bailey past Budaj
2:20 after Parenteau's goal. It was Pandolfo's 100th NHL goal in
his 15-year career.

Streit's second goal of the season made it 3-0. He scored off a
pass from Matt Martin while driving the crease.

"It's a tough thing," Budaj said. "It's tough to lose like
that. I have to be better with my puck-handling, and today wasn't a
good day for that. A couple mistakes, a couple breakdowns cost us
two points."

Montreal cut the deficit to 3-2 with goals from Pacioretty and
Cole in a span of 2:36. Pacioretty one-timed Lars Eller's pass past
DiPietro at 14:52. Eller intercepted Mike Mottau's clearing pass
and found Pacioretty for his ninth. Cole netted his fifth of the
season over a prone DiPietro at 17:38.

"When I have a chance to score a goal, my confidence is
there," Pacioretty said. "At the end of the day you wish you
could have done more to help your team. We came out flat-footed in
the first.

"You have to play a full 60 minutes. We just got away from our
game. You don't like to see it happen, but it did."

Just as it seemed Montreal wrestled momentum away from New York,
Moulson ripped a drive from the right circle with 1:45 remaining in
the second to put the Islanders ahead 4-2.

DiPietro made that stand up. Montreal had two power plays in the
third period, but took advantage of only one. Gionta made it 4-3
with 4:18 remaining.

"He was good," Mike Cammalleri said of DiPietro. "He seemed
like he had some confidence going. He was challenging and playing
an aggressive style."

DiPietro robbed P.K. Subban during the Canadiens' first
advantage of the period. Subban tilted his head to the rafters
after DiPietro snared his drive.

"It was interesting at the end. We won, that's the bottom
line," New York coach Jack Capuano said. "Ricky played well."

The Canadiens were 1 for 4 overall on the power play. New York
went 0 for 3.

"Positives were special teams, we got another goal on the power
play and penalty killing," Montreal coach Jacques Martin said.
"But the bottom line is that we lost the game."

Game notes
The Canadiens said that former head equipment manager
Eddy Palchak died on Wednesday night. Palchak, who was 71, worked
for the Canadiens for 31 years, starting in the 1966-67 season. ...
Montreal D Hal Gill was hospitalized with a virus and missed his
third game. ... The announced attendance was 9,928. . The Islanders
will debut their new third jerseys when they host Philadelphia on
Wednesday.