Canadian Awakening, Islanders Comeback Defeats Habs

As the Islanders took to the ice in Montreal, they tried to erase their losing ways of the past few weeks. Aside from two wins against the Rangers and Devils, the Isles have come up empty in every game as of late. Isles are 2-7-0 over their last 9 games before they took the ice against the streaking Habs.

Perhaps the Isles hit rock bottom during what we will refer to as an assassination of dignity and credibility. After falling flat in a lopsided 7-0 loss to the Flyers, they were attempting to get back to winning ways in Ottawa. (Flickr: Photo Credit: Jonathan_Hawkins)
 
Unfortunately, the Isles were unable to get back in the win column falling 3-1. They were very much in the game but poor goaltending and key mistakes by DiPietro was their demise.
 
In danger of yet another significant losing streak, the Isles didn't start well against the Habs on the road.
 
Keeping up with a disturbing trend as of late, they continued to give up early goals. They were down 1-0 before they could even get their muscles loose.
 
The first period was frustrating for fans and players alike. The Isles were heavily outshot and out worked. Comparisons of the Isles' effort was said to look like an AHL affiliate playing against an NHL foe.  At times, it looked as if the Isles were stuck in cement while the Habs flew around.
 
Turnovers continue to turn into goals during key moments if the game. Opposing teams are accessing pucks in front if the net too easily as of late and this was definitely true in Montreal early in the game.
 
With the first period in the book, the Isles looked fitted for yet another loss. However the effort in the second period changed the tone of the game.
 
The Islanders' success on the power play continued as they were able to cash in early in the second period. The Isles were buzzing and they had much more jump. Matt Moulson continues to find ways to put the puck in the net.
 
After another turnover, the Isles fell behind by two goals again and looked deflated. Sustaining momentum continues to be a huge problem for this young Isles team.
 
After the Habs fell shorthanded once more, Matt Moulson collected his second of the game cutting the lead to 3-2 at the end of the second.
 
The 3rd period was up in the air and very much in reach. The Isles continued their strong play early in the third. They continued to apply pressure but fell short of some key power plays early in the period.
 
The Habs kept rolling the dice by icing the puck and forcing themselves to leave tired lines out on the ice. It seemed they took their foot off the gas and were playing a little too conservatively. 
 
The Isles turned into the aggressive team and looked hungry in the third. Battling and winning in corners, which was drastically different than the beginning of the game.
 
As time trickled off the clock, the Isles seemed to control play for most of the period. Patience paid off as Frans Nielsen lifted a wrist shot to knot the game at 3. The shocked Canadiens team were unable to hold onto what seemed like a iron clad lead.
 
The gritty and determined nature of the Isles team has been there since the beginning of the year. They may not always be on the winning side but they rarely quit. 
 
The Isles have proven that they should not be counted out of any game even ones that begin as bad as this one did.
 
New York had found a way to set up camp in the Montreal zone for almost the entirety of the third period mostly due to the frequent icing of the puck. 
 
The Habs had iced the puck six times in the first half of the third period. This strategy had backfired. They only tallied one shot on goal through 13 minutes of the period.
 
With about 7 minutes left, the Isles moved to the penalty kill after Mark Streit was sent to the penalty box. Nabokov's strong play aided and kept the game tied in tense moments. 
 
Trying to ride the momentum of the big penalty kill, the Isles attacked sensing that this game could be won. 
 
Not content with just a tie game, the Isles were playing for the win. This style was obvious and they weren't playing as nervous as usual during tie games late in the third.
 
After Lubomir Visnovsky took an interference penalty late in the third, the Isles' PK came up huge again. They rode this momentum into overtime.
 
John Tavares took a cross check that went uncalled and was in obvious pain on the bench at the end of the third. The Isles' were relieved to see he was able to shake it off and play the overtime period.
 
After a tightly competed overtime period, the Isles were able to find the net for the win. Thomas Hickey was able to tap it home after a ridiculous play by Tavares to keep the play alive. 
 
JT was able to dish it to Grabner who found Hickey for his first career goal in the NHL.
 
An inspired win against a very good Montreal team. The 7-9-1 Islanders will take on Buffalo on Saturday.