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Bailey scores winner as Islanders top Canadiens 3-2 in a shootout

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Bailey scores winner as Islanders top Canadiens 3-2 in a shootout

The Canadian Press
By:

MONTREAL -- Josh Bailey scored the shootout winner to lead the New York Islanders to a 3-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens in a battle of the Eastern Conference's two worst teams on Saturday night.

Mark Streit and Frans Nielsen scored for the Islanders (29-33-11), who snapped a five-game losing streak. Al Montoya stopped 28 shots for New York.

Aaron Palushaj scored his first NHL goal and Louis Leblanc added another one for Montreal (28-32-13). Peter Budaj made 36 saves for the Canadiens.

It was a tense shootout that needed six rounds to decide the winner.

Montreal's David Desharnais and New York's Nielsen scored in the shootout's first round, then the Habs' Rene Bourque and the Isles' Matt Moulson put the puck in the net in the fourth round.

Bailey put the game away when he cut in front of the crease, waited out Budaj and then fired the puck past the sprawled goaltender.

Palushaj opened the scoring at 2:53 of the first period. Taking a feed from Petteri Nokelainen, Palushaj backhanded a shot from the goal-line past Montoya for his first goal in 32 NHL games.

Budaj kept the Islanders at bay for the rest of the period and early in the second with key saves on Bailey and Moulson from in close.

Streit got the Islanders on the board early on the power play at 2:00 of the second. The ex-Habs defenceman picked up Montreal's clearing attempt from behind his own net and skated down the ice before going five-hole on Budaj.

Nielsen put the visitors ahead 2-1 late in the period. With Canadiens defenceman Andrei Markov caught pinching, Nielsen broke out 2-on-1 before sniping one over Budaj's left shoulder at 16:05.

Leblanc nearly got the equalizer late in the second when Montoya came well out of his crease to play the puck. The Canadiens rookie had a shot from the left of the net but was denied by Islanders defenceman Andrew MacDonald, who went down for the block.

He prevailed on his second chance at 3:38 of the third when P.K. Subban found set him up with a perfect pass in the slot. Leblanc lifted a backhand into the net from the slot for his fourth of the season.

Notes: Andrei Markov returned to the Canadiens lineup after missing Friday's game with an upper-body injury. ... Upper body injuries kept defenceman Tomas Kaberle and centre Scott Gomez out of the lineup for a second and third straight night, respectively. ... Forward Blake Geoffrion and defenceman Frederic St-Denis were healthy scratches. ... The Islanders scratched veterans Steve Staios and Jay Pandolfo. ... Palushaj's goal was the first by a Canadiens player wearing No. 60 since goaltender Jose Theodore scored into an empty net on Jan. 2, 2001.

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Bailey scores winner as Islanders top Canadiens 3-2 in a shootout