The New York Islanders have been having a winning season that has seen determined goaltending and defense being instrumental in their success. That success was evident last night and it put an end to the Montreal Canadiens hopes of making the playoffs.
A later period goal in the third by New York Captain, Anders Lee cemented the win for the New York Islanders after Montreal tied the game in the latter part of the second period. Adam Pelch also scored for New York with assists handed out to Matthew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier. Goaltender Thomas Greiss had 33 saves for the night giving New York a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.
Pelech’s goal last night was his fifth of the season and New York’s fourth win in its last five games. They remain in second place in the Metropolitan Division two points behind the Washington Capitals. Commenting on the points earned last night, Adam Pelch said,
“It’s so important to get these two points especially against a team like Montreal. We had plenty of guys who stepped up tonight and Greisser played a great game.”
Montreal’s Jordie Benn scored the Canadians only goal. Paul Bryon and Christian Folin were awarded assists and goaltender Carey Price stopped 36 shots.
With the clock ticking down, Anders Lee was able to capitalize on a two on one play with Matthew Barzal to earn his 25th of the season after Brazal passed to a waiting Lee in Montreal’s zone before sending it past Carey Price with just under three minutes remaining. Anders Lee took over the captaincy role after John Tavares chose to accept a deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Commenting on his success, Lee said,
“This is the kind of hockey and tight games we’re going to see the rest of the way. These are the tight games you have to have.”
The Islanders have had a solid performance this week including a shutout win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night and last night, the win over Montreal. Coach Barry Trotz was pleased with the results commenting, that they got the chance and buried it.
The first period went scoreless but early into the second Pelch was able to put New York up by one. With less than two minutes to go in the second, Montreal’s Jordie Benn tied it before Lee made it 2-1.
The maintained a fast pace throughout all three periods and both Price and Griess both working hard in the net. New York managed to outshoot Montreal 15 to 9.New York has now won 27 out of their last forty games and have improved upon their win ratio over last season.
That success has been a big part of having Trotz behind the bench as they attempt to earn home ice advantage for the beginning of the post-season. Performance wise, Trotz is pleased commenting that he is pleased with the results.
Montreal’s only hope now for the post-season is the wild card spot, but with them battling the Columbus Blue Jackets for it, losing as they did last night does not help their cause. Commenting, Carey Price said,
“We played a team that looked like they’re ready for the playoffs. We had opportunities. In the end it was disappointing. It’s a learning experience. We have to move on.”
The Islanders next play the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night before heading to Minnesota to play the Wild. Montreal will next play the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday and the Flyers on Tuesday.