Weber’s Late PPG Dooms Islanders

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NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 26: Travis Hamonic #3 of the New York Islanders and Andrew Shaw #65 of the Montreal Canadiens battle during the second period at the Barclays Center on October 26, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) 1024w, 1379w" sizes="(max-width: 627px) 100vw, 627px" />

There’s an old sports cliche that a scoreline is sometimes not indicative of the game that was actually played.

In the case of the New York Islanders 3-2 loss to league-best Montreal Canadiens (6-0-1) on Wednesday night, that cliche still rang true.

Shea Weber scored a power-play goal on the Islanders (3-4-0) only penalty of the game with 2:57 left in the third period to end a 2-2 deadlock in favor of the visitors from the north. The loss put a blemish on what was a herculean effort by Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (26 saves).

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“(Greiss was) the reason why we had a chance to win,” Islanders captain John Tavares said. “Bottom line.”

Greiss stopped 11 of 12 shots in the middle frame, including multiple point-blank stops to keep the Canadiens at bay, in what was an incredibly sloppy period for the Islanders.

“I think in the first half of that game we didn’t manage the puck properly,” Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said. “They were quicker on pucks than we were.”

“We were in the game because of our goaltender,” Capuano stressed.

It was a period they were lucky enough to escape level with the Canadiens, thanks to a goal by Tavares.

Capuano decided to switch things up in what was a livelier third period, thanks to some mid-game line-juggling that saw 19-year-old rookie Anthony Beauvillier move to the top line with Tavares and Josh Bailey, replacing the struggling Andrew Ladd.

“I think the second period was obviously our worst period of the season,” Tavares said. “I liked the way we responded in the third. We had a better effort and gave ourselves a chance but we just didn’t get it done.”

The Islanders had more scoring opportunities, but fell behind for the second time of the game to Montreal midway through the third as Phillip Danault scored his second of the year. Isles defenseman Dennis Seidenberg evened things up almost three minutes later on a slapshot from the blueline that found its way past Montreal goaltender Al Montoya.

It didn’t matter in the end as the newly-acquired Weber eventually won things for the Canadiens late.

“I think if you watch the third period, we had plenty of opportunities, and it came down to their power play,” Capuano said.

“The wrong guy had the puck late in the game there.”

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