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NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at Montreal



(Saturday, March 15th)

Final Score: Montreal 3, NY Islanders 0

Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Jaroslav Halak made 30 saves for his first shutout of the season as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the New York Islanders, 3-0, at the Bell Centre.

The win moved Montreal back to the top of the Northeast Division with 89 points, two better than idle Ottawa and just one point behind New Jersey for first overall in the Eastern Conference.

"It's a good feeling for our team," said Halak. "The guys in front of me are doing a good job. Our guys were there blocking the pucks and when there was a rebound the defensemen would clear it. That is a big key for a goalie."

Roman Hamrlik, Guillaume Latendresse and Alex Kovalev each scored for the Canadiens, who have won four of their last six games.

"We definitely wanted to get the first goal," said Kovalev. "We had a good start, but if we don't play a game like we played tonight, kind of see and adjust and jump on it, it works better for us. It's a patient game. Waiting for the opportunities because we know we'll have them."

Rick DiPietro made 26 saves in the loss for the Islanders, who have dropped their past five games.

"Another loss, but we have a lot of guys looking for jobs next year," said DiPietro. "We're competitive guys and they're giving the same all out effort. We were disciplined tonight and didn't take too many penalties. But they scored and capitalized on one of ours. They blocked many of our shots and perhaps the result would have been different."

The loss all but kills any chance New York has of making the playoffs. The Islanders are nine points back of the final spot in the Eastern Conference with nine games to play.

The first 20 minutes went scoreless as DiPietro stopped eight shots and Halak made 10 saves.

The Habs took a 1-0 lead on the power play at the 7:04 mark of the second period. Chris Higgins blasted a hard shot from the right point that DiPietro saved, but Roman Hamrlik blasted in the rebound from the left circle.

Halak made eight saves in the middle frame to keep the Islanders off the board.

On a 2-on-1 break, Montreal took a 2-0 lead as Tomas Plekanec fired a pass from the right side to the left where Kovalev wristed it home for his 31st goal of the season at the 5:54 mark of the third period.

Halak kept the shutout going with a nice blocker save on a Miroslav Satan wrister in the slot with under eight minutes to play.

The Canadiens sealed the victory as Saku Koivu sprung Latendresse on a breakaway and he fired a wrister over the right shoulder of DiPietro from the left circle with 2:12 to play.

Game Notes

Montreal wraps up its four-game homestand on Tuesday against St. Louis...The Islanders host Toronto on Tuesday...It was the third shutout of Halak's career...The Canadiens swept the season series and have won five straight overall...Montreal went 1-for-2 on the power play while New York went 0-for-2.

03/15 22:23:09 ET


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