Montreal, QC (Sports Network) – Jeff Halpern scored the game-winner as the Montreal Canadiens took a 5-3 win over the New York Islanders in the opener of a home-and-home set.
Tomas Plekanec, Halpern and Andrei Kostitsyn each had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens, who have won three straight and five of six. Carey Price stopped 18 shots in the win.
“We wanted to come out with a good start and so far that has been the case,” said Price. “We’re kind of doing this in segments. Every five games you want to win a certain amount of games and so far we’re doing good.”
James Wisniewski had a goal and two assists while Doug Weight had a goal and an assist for the Islanders, who have dropped their past two games. Dwayne Roloson took the loss after stopping 30-of-34 shots.
These teams will meet in New York on Friday.
Trailing by two goals to start the third, the Islanders made it a 3-2 game just 13 seconds into the frame with a power-play goal from John Tavares, his sixth goal of the year.
The Habs, though, got it back at the 6:56 mark of the frame as Halpern backhanded the puck on a rush from the left circle and it hit off of Mark Eaton in front and got past Roloson.
Benoit Pouliot was hauled down on a breakaway just 15 seconds later and was awarded a penalty shot, but his wrister was easily swallowed up by Roloson to keep it a two-goal contest.
New York, though, again got to within one as Wisniewski’s blast from the left point was tipped into the net by Weight with 7:04 to play.
The Islanders got Roloson out of the net for the extra attacker late in the game, but Kostitsyn put the puck into the open net to seal the win.
Mathieu Darche opened the scoring for Montreal at the 13:19 mark of the first period and Travis Moen scored a shorthander with 2:06 to play in the first for a 2-0 lead.
Wisniewski notched a goal on the power play with 44 second left in the opening stanza and Plekanec’s goal at the 7:33 mark of the second was the only goal of the middle stanza.
Montreal took three of four from the Islanders last season with the Habs’ only loss coming in a shootout…New York went 2-for-4 on the power play while Montreal was 0-for-3 on the man advantage…Kostitsyn has five goals in his past five games…Wisniewski has points in all seven games he’s played this season, totaling two goals and nine assists.