NHL Game Summary - Montreal at NY Islanders
(Thursday, December 7th)
Final Score: Montreal 4, NY Islanders 2
Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - Saku Koivu netted two power-play goals and added an assist, lifting the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
Michael Ryder and Sheldon Souray each added two assists and Cristobal Huet made 25 saves for the Habs, who ended a two-game slide.
"I thought the team played a consistent defensive game and that's something we've been looking for a long time now," said Koivu. "We know we can score some goals, that consistency is something we've been looking for."
Rick DiPietro, who missed one game for New York with a lower body injury, returned between the pipes and allowed four goals on 36 shots.
"We just have to continue to get better," said DiPietro. "I made some lackadaisical mistakes that cost us, but those are the things we have to tighten up on."
Arron Asham and Mike Sillinger scored for the Islanders, who have lost their last two games.
The Isles struck first as Asham scored his fourth goal of the season just 1:25 after the opening faceoff.
The Canadiens responded with the game's next three goals to take control.
Montreal evened the score at 1-1 after Craig Rivet scored at the 5:36 mark of the first. Rivet controlled the puck at the point and skated to the left circle. From there, Rivet quickly snapped a wrister and the disc deflected off an Islander defender in front and past DiPietro.
The Habs went up 2-1 after Guillaume Latendresse scored with 30 seconds remaining in the first. Souray's shot from the point was stopped but Latendresse pounced on the rebound in front and fired the puck past DiPietro.
Montreal increased its lead to 3-1 after Koivu scored a power-play goal 6:51 into the second stanza. Ryder's wrist shot from the slot trickled through the pads of DiPietro and with the puck not over the goal line, Koivu pushed the disc over the line for his ninth tally of the season.
A little over two minutes later, the Islanders made it a 3-2 contest after Sillinger scored on the man advantage for New York at 8:53 of the second.
Koivu's second power-play of the contest gave the Canadiens their two-goal lead back 5:10 into the final frame. Ryder's shot from the right circle was stopped, but Koivu banged the rebound home from in front.
New York had some chances the rest of the contest but Huet stood tall making 12 saves in the third period.
Koivu has 10 goals and 17 assists on the season...The Habs went 2-for-6 on the power play while the Isles went 1-for-5 on the man advantage...Montreal defenseman Janne Niinimaa left the game in the first period after a puck hit him in the face. After getting stitches, he returned to action in the second and played the remainder of the game.
12/08 00:02:33 ET