Monday, October 26, 2009

Czech it out! Canadiens on four game winning streak

Habs-vs-Islanders14.thumbnail Roman Hamrlik celebrates his overtime goal against the Islanders

Travis Moen had a goal and an assist and Roman Hamrlik scored the overtime winner, as the Montreal Canadiens beat the New York Islanders 3-2.

It was Montreal’s second win over the Islanders in just four days. The two teams remaining two regular season meetings will take place on Long Island.

Montreal opened the scoring when Glen Metropolit found Jaroslav Spacek, for his first goal of the season, beating Martin Biron at 13:38 of the first period.

Metropolit had missed the Canadiens morning skate, and had been a game time decision. He would finish the night with two assists.

The Canadiens were caught with two many men on the ice, in the second period, and the Islanders capitalized as Jeff Tambellini beat Jaroslav Halak to tie the game at one apiece.

In the third period, Montreal took a lead, just under eight minutes into the third period, when Travis Moen scored one of those “right place at the right time” goals.


“We didn’t play our best in the second period  but we found a way to win,” said Moen. “It’s nice to chip in (with a goal) once in a while.”

The Islanders battled back as Tambellini scored his second power play goal of the night.

In overtime, Tomas Plekanec freed the puck from the Islanders defense,made a little soccer kick and fed a saucer pass to fellow Czech Roman Hamrlik for the win.

“They were changing out there so I took the puck,” Plekanec said. “I kicked the puck out a little bit and it went well.”

Plekanec has 10 points in 11 games this season.

“So far I feel very good,” he said “I’m playing  with strong details and play a good defensive game this year. I feel good. I feel confident.”

“I knew Tomas was going to pass it to me,” said Hamrlik. “I had the empty net so it was easy for me to finish.”

Halak made 29 saves for the win and has been in goal for each of game of the Canadiens current four-game winning streak.

Habs-vs-Islanders01.thumbnail “I probably could have stopped the first one, but the guys rebounded back,” Halak said. “We kept playing at it paid off at the end of the game.”

“We’re going to take one game at a time,” said Canadiens coach Jaques Martin, who danced around any kind of goaltending controversy.

“I’m happy for how he (Halak) is performing, but we’re going to need two goalies to do the job.”

While the shot total was almost even throughout the game, the Canadiens showed they had better puck possession as 26 of their shots were blocked and 18 missed the net. The Islanders had 16 shots blocked and 6 misses.

The Canadiens improved their record to 6-5-0 and are 5-0 in overtime or shootout games so far this season.

They will embark on a two-game road trip to Pittsburgh, on Wednesday, and Chicago, on Friday, before returning home to face the Maple Leafs on Saturday.

Game Photos: HabsInsideOut/Montreal Gazette

Three Stars: 1. Travis Moen 2. Jeff Tambellini 3. Roman Hamrlik

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