Game 37: Markov, Halak take care of Islanders

Canadiens’ Andrei Markov celebrates scoring his first goal of the season against Islanders’ Martin Biron Saturday night. Al
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• At a Glance:  Andrei Markov wasted little time making his presence felt Saturday night as he returned to the Canadiens after missing 35 games with an injury, scoring two goals as Montreal defeated the Islanders 3-0. All three of the Canadiens goals were scored on the power play, while Montreal was perfect in killing off five shorthanded situations. Markov knocked in a loose puck in the Martin Biron’s crease 7:44 into the first period as he snuck down from the point as he often does. In the second period, Markov used his other weapon when his blistering shot went off Biron’s shoulder and into the net. In the third, Scott Gomez served up a perfect pass to Glen Metropolit at the side of the net for an easy tap in for Metropolit’s eighth goal of the season. Jaroslav Halak was outstanding in nets for the Canadiens, stopping all 40 shots he faced. It’s Halak’s fifth career shutout and his first of the season.

• Key Moments: Several times in the game, Halak made spectacular saves on point-blank shots from the slot to preserve the win.

• What It Means: With the win, the Canadiens snapped a five-game losing streak and improved to 16-18-3 on the season for 35 points. Montreal is a perfect 3-0 against the Islanders this season and has limited New York to three goals.

• What’s Next: If the Canadiens can make it out of the New York area after the massive storm hitting the area, they will take on the Atlanta Thrashers on Monday and then travel to Carolina on Wednesday before a short Christmas break.

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