Game 80: Habs blow it on Long Island

Canadiens’ Maxim Lapierre is pushed off the puck by Islanders’ Jack Hillen Tuesday night. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

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AUDIO: Brian Gionta | Tomas Plekanec | Ryan O’Byrne | Josh Gorges | Jacques Martin

• At a Glance: The Canadiens came out flat against the New York Islanders, trailing 1-0 after 20 minutes and being badly outshot and outplayed, eventually losing 4-3 in a shootout. The Canadiens woke up in the second period with goals by Tomas Plekanec, his 25th, and Brian Gionta, who tied Michael Cammalleri for the team lead with 26 goals. Blake Comeau scored the game’s first goal and Sean Bergenheim tied the game 2-2 only two minutes into the third period and the Islanders were buzzing the net after that, with the Canadiens on their heels a little. But Maxim Lapierre scored a pretty goal four minutes later as he fought off two defenders and went in alone on Martin Biron, beating him with a nice backhand to the roof of the net. But the Isles did not roll over with Frans Nielsen tying the game 3-3 with 2:01 to play. Halak allowed two goals in the shootout, while the Canadiens could not beat Biron. Halak faced 42 shots in 65 minutes of play, making 39 saves, but he was beaten handily in the shootout.

• Key Moments: Halak was left alone in the first period as the Islanders took 15 shots on net, with Halak stopping all but one, while his teammates could muster only five shots on Martin Biron. Halak also made an incredible save on John Tavares in the third period shortly after the Islanders had made it 2-2.

• What It Means: The Canadiens miss a chance to clinch a playoff spot and drop to 39-32-9 for 87 points. The Flyers’ win in Toronto prevents Montreal from clinching.

• What’s Next: Two games remain the regular season, with a visit to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday and a home date against the Toronto Maple Leafs to finish the season.

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