Isles Fight Off Habs in Shootout, 3-2
The Islanders traveled to Montreal last night and finally came out with two points. After being winless in their last five games, the Islanders faced off against the 14th place Montreal Canadiens.
For the Canadiens, this season could have gone much smoother and produced a better result. They are a team that underachieved, especially them being a team that made it to the Stanley Cup playoffs for multiple seasons in a row.
From the landslide season that Canadiens are having, to the Isles now. Al Montoya started his first game since February 16th, and played in his first game since February 20th. Needless to say, he was expected to be a little rusty.
And a little rusty he was to start the game, just three minutes into the game, Montoya was beaten by Aaron Palushaj to give the Habs an early 1-0 lead. It was Palushaj's first NHL goal and the first goal by a Montreal Canadien who dawned the number 60 since Jose Theodore scored against the Islanders back in 2002.
With the score 1-0, the Islanders would head to the locker room and when they came back out, it looked like a whole different team. The team was skating, and skating hard and fast. The Isles would head to the powerplay and that speed and go-to-the-net attitude would pay off as former Canadien Mark Streit beat Peter Budaj to tie the game at 1.
Montoya would settle down and really start to take away some serious chances that the Habs were setting up in the Isles zone. By period's end, Frans Nielsen ripped a wrister over the shoulder of Budaj to give the Isles the 2-1 lead. It was Nielsen's 14th of the season, a new career high.
Time for the ever so dreaded third period. If hockey had only two periods, it would be pretty safe to say that the Islanders would be a playoff team. But unfortunately, there are three and Louis Leblanc would tie it up for the Canadiens in that third period.
So regulation ends 2-2. The most impressive player during the dying minutes of the 3rd as well as overtime was Andrew MacDonald. A-Mac was absolutely superb in the late minutes of the third as well as the overtime.
With no scoring in the overtime, we head to the shootout. David Desharnais would kick off the shootout with a goal and the Isles would throw out their number 51, Frans Nielsen. They say sixty percent of the time, Frans Nielsen's shootout move works every time, but he switched it up and scored five hole to tie up the shootout.
Rene Bourque scored for the Habs and Matt Moulson would respond with a goal to tie it right back up. With no scoring for the next round and a half, Josh Bailey headed to center ice. Bailey stormed down the ice and hit the back of the net to seal the Isles 3-2 shootout victory.
So what's next for the Islanders. They are currently tied with Montreal for 14th place. The Isles play the Maple Leafs on Tuesday and it is going to be really tough for the Isles to get back in the playoff race with their upcoming schedule. But for now, let's just enjoy some more wins.
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