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Montréal
Canadiens
41-30-11
New York
Islanders
26-47-9

32 SOG
31 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
MTL
NYI
game recap

Canadiens 5, Islanders 4

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:24 AM

Associated Press

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Canadiens 5, Islanders 4
Montréal Canadiens 5, New York Islanders 4

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - 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.

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."

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.

scoring summary
1st Period
02:03
MTL
Alex Kovalev (4) Snap shot - ASST: Tomas Plekanec (3), Roman Hamrlik (3)
1 - 0 MTL
03:47
NYI
PPG - Mark Streit (4) Slapshot - ASST: Mike Comrie (4), Doug Weight (7)
1 - 1 Tie
12:27
NYI
Jon Sim (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Frans Nielsen (3), Trent Hunter (2)
2 - 1 NYI
2nd Period
01:40
NYI
PPG - Bill Guerin (4) Tip-in - ASST: Doug Weight (8), Trent Hunter (3)
3 - 1 NYI
16:43
NYI
Frans Nielsen (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Sean Bergenheim (2), Richard Park (4)
4 - 1 NYI
3rd Period
07:48
MTL
Tomas Plekanec (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Alex Kovalev (4), Andrei Markov (11)
4 - 2 NYI
09:55
MTL
Tomas Plekanec (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Andrei Kostitsyn (2), Alex Kovalev (5)
4 - 3 NYI
14:06
MTL
Chris Higgins (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Saku Koivu (7)
4 - 4 Tie
15:19
MTL
Alex Kovalev (5) Tip-in - ASST: Andrei Markov (12), Tomas Plekanec (4)
5 - 4 MTL
penalty summary
1st Period
02:39
MTL
Andrei Markov  Holding against  Frans Nielsen
17:43
MTL
Guillaume Latendresse  Hooking against  Richard Park
2nd Period
00:57
MTL
Alex Tanguay  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
01:59
MTL
Georges Laraque  Fighting (maj) against  Mitchell Fritz
01:59
NYI
Mitchell Fritz  Fighting (maj) against  Georges Laraque
03:54
MTL
Alex Kovalev  Hooking against  Richard Park
12:17
NYI
Thomas Pock  Hooking against  Alex Kovalev
3rd Period
00:41
NYI
Mark Streit  Interference against  Alex Tanguay
04:20
NYI
Thomas Pock  Tripping against  Alex Kovalev
goalie stats
Carey Price
SA: 31TOI: 60:00
Saves: 27EV: 22 - 24
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 7
SV%: .871SH: 0 - 0
Yann Danis
SA: 32TOI: 59:06
Saves: 27EV: 20 - 25
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 5
SV%: .844SH: 2 - 2