At this point the Canadiens will take anything they can get.   Eric Cole scored on the Canadiens first shot of the third period and it was 3-1.  The Islanders came back to take 13 of the next fourteen shots to tie the game and it looked like the ‘same-old, same-old’ until Lars Eller spotted Petteri Nokelainen coming off the bench and set him up for a slap shot for what turned out the game winner.  Hal Gill finished it off with the empty net goal.  With one win the Canadiens move from tenth to a seventh place tie with Buffalo in the Eastern Conference.

Adding It Up –

Power Forward – No question the most dangerous forward was once again Erik Cole.  His goal, which gave the Canadiens teir 3-1 lead came on a clean setup in front from David Desharnais.  That was reward for a game in which hetook nine shots, six of which were on goal and had eight scoring chances.  Thrown in were a game leading six hits.

The Newcomers – Two of them.  Chris Campoli and Tomas Kaberle both made their Bell Centre debuts.  Campoli was hurt in the first game of the season in Toronto, Kaberle was acquired from Carolina on Friday.  They played together.  Kaberle assisted on the Kostitsyn goal, took part in a successful power play and in the second period was on the ice for five of the six shots the Canadiens took during an Islander bench penalty.  Of the first five goals the Canadiens scored since Kaberle joined the team, he was on the ice for four.

 The Difference?  –  The Canadiens were plus-one on special teams.  They pitched another penalty killing shutout and were 1 for 4 on the power play.  Cole’s goal gave the Canadiens a 3-1 lead that was equalled by never surpassed.

No Passenger – Michael Cammalleri has come in for some legitimate criticism for his soft play and lack of scoring over the last three weeks.  Again the offense wasn’t there (one shot on goal) so it was back to square one.  Cammalleri played a very vigorous defensive game and thus did no harm and at the same time picked up his linemates.

Gung-Ho  – Another very strong effort from Andrei Kostitsyn who may have been the Canadiens best forecheckker.  And has anyone noticed that, despite missing ten games with that groin injury,  Kositsyn has nine goals; only two fewer than the team leaders Max Pacioretty and Cole?  His goal was the result of a great individual effort down the right boards.  Key goal, because it came just 1:25 after the Islanders had taken a 1-0 lead.

Due Credit – It is in vogue to use every move that Pierre Gauthier has made this season as ammunition for a case for his evenutal dismissal.  So, in hindsight,  how bad was that Petteri Nokelainen deal anyway?  The Canadiens had a big hole on their fourth line.  Nokelainen has been the perfect fit.  His game winning goal was just a bonus.  I wonder, after seeing his first two games, just how we’ll assess the Kaberle deal in a month.

The Great Dane –   Well, maybe not as ‘great’ as he’s going to be, but pretty good.   The goals are going to start to come, don’t know where and I don’t know when.  But they’re going to come.  You could make a case that Eller was the Canadiens best centreman in this game. Jacques Martin has taken to giving him the job of shutting down the opposition’s top lines; in this game  Taveras/Moulson/Parenteau.  Great pass to Nokelainen coming off the bench for the game winner, too.

One More For The Clinic – Sometime during the first period Travis Moen suffered an lower body injury. His last on-ice sighting was at 10:49 of the period.   He left the game and didn’t return.

Noteworthy – David Desharnais’ pass to Cole for the Canadiens third goal is nothing short of what we’ve come to expect from him.  Perfectly timed.  On Cole’s wheelhouse for the one-timer. His second assist was on the empty netter.  …..Carey Price didn’t get a star, but without him we could have seen another overtime and perhaps a shootout.  The Islanders outshot the Canadiens 15-8 in the third period, but it was 14-2 when the Islanders tied it up on a goalmouth scramble.  Hal Gill gave us the quote of the week when asked about his empty net goal, his first of the season.  Said Gill, who was praying that he hadn’t iced the puck in the final minute “It’s tough when you score a goal and you’re first emotion is embarassment.”

Ahead Philadelphia Thursday and New Jersey Thursday and Saturday at the Bell Centre and then the six game holiday road trip.

The Corsi/Fenwick Numbers

Shots directed at net while a player was on the ice at even strength, excluding empty net situations

Game Number Team Player Number Goals Saved shots Missed Shots Fenwick+/- Blocked Shots Corsi+/-
20443 MTL 13 – L – CAMMALLERI, MICHAEL 2 1 3 11 2 3
-8
3 2
-7
20443 MTL 14 – C – PLEKANEC, TOMAS 1 1 3 12 2 5
-12
4 2
-10
20443 MTL 15 – C – NOKELAINEN, PETTERI 2 1 3 7 1 1
-3
4 6
-5
20443 MTL 17 – D – CAMPOLI, CHRIS 2 1 4 9 5 3
-2
5 2
1
20443 MTL 22 – D – KABERLE, TOMAS 1 1 2 8 3 2
-5
5 0
0
20443 MTL 26 – D – GORGES, JOSH 0 1 5 9 2 5
-8
9 6
-5
20443 MTL 31 – G – PRICE, CAREY 3 3 13 27 7 9
-16
21 13
-8
20443 MTL 46 – L – KOSTITSYN, ANDREI 1 1 3 9 2 3
-7
3 1
-5
20443 MTL 51 – C – DESHARNAIS, DAVID 0 1 3 5 3 1
-1
7 2
4
20443 MTL 52 – L – DARCHE, MATHIEU 1 0 4 7 2 4
-4
8 4
0
20443 MTL 61 – D – DIAZ, RAPHAEL 1 1 5 8 0 1
-4
7 6
-3
20443 MTL 67 – L – PACIORETTY, MAX 0 1 4 7 3 1
-2
9 3
4
20443 MTL 68 – D – WEBER, YANNICK 1 0 1 6 0 2
-6
1 5
-10
20443 MTL 71 – C – LEBLANC, LOUIS 0 0 2 4 1 3
-4
5 5
-4
20443 MTL 72 – L – COLE, ERIK 0 1 6 5 3 1
2
8 3
7
20443 MTL 75 – D – GILL, HAL 2 1 5 11 2 4
-7
8 7
-6
20443 MTL 76 – D – SUBBAN, P.K. 0 1 4 9 2 4
-8
8 5
-5
20443 MTL 81 – C – ELLER, LARS 1 1 7 6 2 2
1
9 4
6