Islanders Take Canadiens In OT


Finally, the puck bounced in favor of the New York Islanders.

Jamie Heward's goal 47 seconds into overtime gave the Islanders a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

Heward took advantage of a line change by the Canadiens and beat Montreal goaltender Jeff Hackett from the left circle. Mats Lindgren and Eric Brewer assisted on the goal.

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Game summary

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  • "I was just happy it went in," Heward said. "Mats made a great play by not dumping the puck in. Usually, you do that so you don't create a turnover, but he found me. I got around the defenseman, and Hackett didn't get down fast enough to completely close up the 5-hole."

    Brad Isbister had New York's other goal, his fifth of the season, while Islanders goalie Felix Potvin (3-6-1) stopped 17 shots to earn the victory.

    Martin Rucinsky scored for the Canadiens, who are winless in seven straight games (0-6-1). Hackett stopped 32 shots.

    The game featured the two of the worst teams in the league. Montreal has just seven points (3-10-1), while the Islanders have eight (3-6-2).

    The Canadiens have only scored 25 total goals in its 14 games and have only twice scored more than two goals in a game.

    "Right now, it's a little bit challenging for the players," Canadiens coach Alain Vigneault said. "We don't have a lot of offensive power."

    The Canadiens took a 1-0 lead just 56 seconds into the game. Potvin stopped Brian Savage's wraparound attempt, but Rucinsky put the rebound past Potvin.

    "It was just an unlucky bounce off the save," Potvin said. "These things happen."

    Islanders rookie Tim Connolly had two great opportunities to score in the second period, but he missed a wide open net at 2:10 and then was robbed on a diving save by Hackett (3-6-1) at 9:14.

    "Even though he didn't cash in, I liked the way he's played over the last six periods," Islanders coach Butch Goring said. "He's giving Islander fans a taste of what they can look forward to for the next 10-15 years."

    New York defenseman and captain Kenny Jonsson had to leave the game midway through the second period when he was high-sticked by Rucinsky.

    Isbister tied the game with 9:40 left in regulation when his slapshot from the left circle hit defenseman Eric Weinrich, popped in the air and went over Hackett's glove into the net. The goal was the first for the Islanders at home in 147:05.

    "I just stopped and shot it," Isbister said. "I think it hit (Weinrich's) leg and Hackett must have lost sight of it. We need some lucky bounces like that."

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.NYI: Jamie Heward's