NHL Game Summary - Montreal at NY Islanders
(Thursday, April 2nd)
Final Score: Montreal 5, NY Islanders 1
Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - Saku Koivu and Andrei Markov each tallied a goal and an assist, as the Montreal Canadiens clobbered the New York Islanders, 5-1, to keep pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Alex Tanguay, Mathieu Schneider and Michael Komisarek also scored for the Canadiens, who have won four of five after a five-game slide to move into the seventh position in the East, one point ahead of the Rangers, who lost to Carolina on Thursday.
Jaroslav Halak made 26 saves in place of Carey Price, who missed the game with the flu.
"Hopefully we can keep improving," Tanguay said. "We're a team that started the year with a lot of potential, maybe underachieved. The season is still young...And we can still make some good things happen."
Montreal has five games remaining, three of them on the road, including a contest at Toronto on Saturday.
Jeff Tambellini scored the lone goal for the Islanders, who have dropped six of seven and are last in the NHL with 59 points. Yann Danis allowed all five goals on 38 shots in a losing effort.
"This was a disappointing effort for our team," Isles center Doug Weight said. "We know we're not going to get every call. We're a young team, we have to play smarter."
Montreal took advantage of a power play opportunity to score the first goal of the game. The Isles' Radek Martinek misplayed the puck near his own net, and Alex Kovalev stole it and dished it to the middle to Koivu, who snuck it under Danis' pads at 13:03.
Schneider doubled the Habs' lead with a power play goal at the 18:31 mark of the opening frame.
The Canadiens quickly took control of the game in the second, building a 3-0 lead. Tanguay streaked down the ice all by himself, worked around a defender who caught up with him and used him as a screen, blasting a wrist shot from the slot past Danis at 1:11.
Just over two minutes later, while on the power play, Koivu easily fed Markov from the side of the net for an easy tap-in at 3:12.
The Isles got one back, though, as Tambellini's slap shot from the top of the left circle evaded Price at 9:05.
Komisarek restored the Canadiens' four-goal lead 44 seconds into the third, and Montreal coasted to the victory from there.
The teams split the season series, 2-2. New York hasn't won the season series from Montreal since 2002-03...New York has lost six of seven overall and was missing its top two scorers, Mark Streit (groin) and Kyle Okposo (groin)...The Isles' Dean McAmmond (illness) also missed the game...Kovalev had three assists...Montreal's Tom Kostopoulos was unsuccessful on a penalty shot in the third period.
04/03 01:07:34 ET