Fresh off first win, Tavares and Islanders visit Habs on TSN

The Sports Network

10/22/2009 11:24:54 AM

(Sports Network) - With their first win of the season in the books, the New York Islanders will try to make it two in a row when they visit the Montreal Canadiens tonight at Bell Centre.

You can watch the game on TSN and TSN HD at 7pm et/4pm pt.

The Canadiens ended a five-game slide themselves their last time out against Atlanta and will try to post back-to-back wins tonight for just the second time this season.

Montreal needed a shootout to defeat the visiting Thrashers on Tuesday. Scott Gomez notched the winner in the deciding segment as Montreal survived Atlanta, 2-1, at Bell Centre.

Gomez opened the second round by beating Thrashers netminder Ondrej Pavelec with a wrister high to the glove side. After Rich Peverley failed in Atlanta's turn, Brian Gionta closed out the game by eluding a poke check and slipping a backhander into the open net.

"That five-game losing stretch was a little disappointing for us," Gionta noted. "We showed flashes of good stuff and kept to the gameplan. Any two points is big because they have a good team there. They're 4-and-1 and rolling, so it's nice to get a win against an offensive-minded team."

Gionta also provided the lone score in regulation for the Canadiens, while Jaroslav Halak stopped 22 shots for the win.

The Habs could have centerman Glen Metropolit back tonight after he missed the last six games with a rib injury. Metropolit had a goal and an assist in the season opener, but then suffered the injury in Montreal's second game.

Tuesday's victory also marked the first home win of the year for Montreal, which is 1-2-0 at the Bell Centre. The Habs began the year on a five-game road trip and are playing their fourth of six straight at home tonight.

Montreal and the Isles split four meetings last year with each club winning a pair of games on the road. The Canadiens have taken seven of nine overall in the series and have beaten New York in seven of the last 10 encounters at Bell Centre.

The Islanders, meanwhile, began the season with an 0-3-3 record, but finally broke into the win column Wednesday night against visiting Carolina. The victory leaves Toronto as the only winless team left in the NHL.

Frans Nielsen scored the decisive goal in a shootout and John Tavares added a big marker during the extra segment to lift the Islanders to a 4-3 decision over the Hurricanes at Nassau Coliseum. Andy Sutton added a goal and an assist in regulation for the Islanders.

Jeff Tambellini and Nielsen scored in the first two rounds of the shootout, before Carolina countered with a Jussi Jokinen tally. Tavares then ended it when he skated in and beat Cam Ward to the blocker side to secure New York's victory.

"I think even when they got back in the game we still played hard," Tavares said. "We played hard in overtime and came up with some big goals in the shootout."

Matt Moulson and Tim Jackman each lit the lamp for the Islanders, who snapped a 10-game slide dating back to the end of the 2008-09 campaign. Dwayne Roloson stopped 35-of-38 shots for the Islanders.

Tonight, the Isles will shoot for their first road victory of the season after going 0-1-2 as the guest so far this year. New York has dropped six straight on the road dating back to last season.