Final

Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Saturday, November 1st
Canadiens5Final
Islanders4
Game 2: Monday, November 24th
Islanders4Final
SO
Canadiens3
Game 3: Thursday, March 12th
Islanders3Final
OT
Canadiens2
Game 4: Thursday, April 2nd
Canadiens5Final
Islanders1

Canadiens 5

(8-1-1, 17 pts)

Islanders 4

(2-7-1, 5 pts)

7:00 PM ET, November 1, 2008

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York

1 2 3 T
MTL 1 0 45
NYI 2 2 04

A. Kovalev (Canadiens - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 2

T. Plekanec (Canadiens - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 2

F. Nielsen (Islanders - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Kovalev's second goal caps Habs' four-goal rally in third period

Associated Press

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.

Fast Facts

• The Isles are now winless in six straight games and are off to their worst start in franchise history.

• New York took its first lead after a span of 317 minutes, 4 seconds of playing time over five games with Jon Sim's goal at 12:27 in the first period. The Isles hadn't led in a game since Oct. 16 when they beat Tampa Bay in overtime.

• Montreal beat New York for the sixth straight time.

-- ESPN research and The Associated Press

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 night.

"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 a 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."

Game notes


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 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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