UNIONDALE, N.Y. – The New York Islanders are no longer the pushovers they appeared to be a week or so ago.
Dwayne Roloson stopped 37 shots, and four Islanders had goals in a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday night that stretched New York’s winning streak to three.
Blake Comeau, Michael Grabner, P.A. Parenteau and James Wisniewski all scored for the Islanders, who tied their longest winning streak of the season and extended their point streak to five games (4-0-1).
“We talked as a group that we have to move forward. I think we did that,” said Parenteau, who added an assist. “We’re playing with a lot of confidence right now.”
New York (9-18-6) moved four points ahead of New Jersey, which has the fewest points in the NHL.
The announced attendance was only 3,136 on a snowy night on Long Island. Newsday reported on its website that the NHL turned down the requests of the Islanders and Nassau County to postpone the game.
Tomas Plekanec scored Montreal’s only goal. Carey Price made 21 saves.
“Too many penalties and indiscipline were factors in the game, and not enough intensity in our game,” Canadiens coach Jacques Martin said. “The first two goals were direct mistakes. The first one an odd-man rush—we didn’t have a third man—and on the second goal, a turnover in the neutral zone.”
The Islanders seem to be getting comfortable under interim coach Jack Capuano, who replaced the fired Scott Gordon on Nov. 15.
“It takes a while to get habits of his system out,” Wisniewski said of Gordon’s style of play. “You can kind of see we’re all working together, working on the same page, and there’s not as many breakdowns.”
Comeau opened the scoring 11:04 in with his eighth goal. He gathered a pass from Rob Schremp at the blue line, bore down on Price before deking him, and then beat the goalie low to the glove side.
“Right off the bat, we knew with the storm it was going to be a hard crowd for us,” Parenteau said. “When you get the first goal, it changes everything.”
There was a lengthy video review midway through the second period on an apparent goal by John Tavares. Price had misplayed the puck behind his net and turned it over to Parenteau. Parenteau passed to Matt Moulson, who drove to the net, and the rebound came to Tavares in the slot for a stuff attempt.
Price and Josh Georges stretched out across the goal line, and an official waved off the goal. The review was inconclusive.
The Islanders eventually took a 2-0 lead with 1:42 remaining in the second when Grabner made a move similar to Comeau’s.
New York then put the game away during a 5-minute power play after Montreal’s Max Pacioretty boarded Mark Eaton 1:29 into the third period. Pacioretty was also ejected from the game.
He was remorseful following the game.
“I remember going in on the forecheck,” Pacioretty said. “I thought he would be turning up to me, but it didn’t turn out that way. It’s a fast game. Sometimes you make mistakes, and I definitely made a mistake there that hurt our team and obviously hurt that player.
“I’m disappointed with what happened and I wish I could take that back.”
The Islanders connected twice during the advantage. Parenteau’s seventh of the season came 32 seconds into the power play, and Wisniewski made it 4-0 2:22 later.
“We gave them a couple of easy breaks and then penalties—the big one and a bunch of others. It’s discouraging,” Canadiens defenceman Hal Gill said. “There are some areas we need to be better, but sometimes it’s just making the little bounces go your way.
“We have to pick up that little edge.”
NOTES: The Islanders also won three straight from Oct. 16-21 during their 4-1-2 start. … New York went 2 for 8 on the power play, giving the team six man-advantage goals in seven games after going 0 for 39 in the previous 12. … Price has lost four of his past six outings. He allowed at least three goals in all but one of those appearances.