Al Montoya loses cool and Islanders lose game

New York Islanders goalie Al Montoya (35) makes New York Islanders goalie Al Montoya (35) makes a save during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche. (Nov. 10, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

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VANCOUVER -- Al Montoya faced more than a barrage of Avalanche shots Thursday night. The Islanders goaltender got barreled into twice and punched once, which left him sore in more ways than one.

Montoya took a high-sticking penalty in overtime and Colorado scored on the power play for a 4-3 victory after the Islanders had taken a three-goal lead.

After the game, Montoya was examined by the Avalanche doctor, who did not perform a neurological exam, though the goaltender had some neck spasms Thursday night.

It was a wild game for Montoya, who made his first start since Oct. 20. He made 47 saves, but he was upset with himself for losing his cool in OT and clipping David Jones with the butt end of his stick.

"Just too emotional. I've got to focus that energy and put it in the right spot," Montoya said Friday after the Islanders traveled here for Sunday's game against the Canucks. "I don't let that happen to me too much."

Montoya had been one of the main reasons the Islanders took that three-goal lead into the final minute of the second period, stopping the first 27 Avalanche shots, including one diving, sprawling save to rob Jones on a rebound in the second.

The Avalanche made sure to get in Montoya's face. TJ Galiardi ran him over late in the first after a good scoring chance, drawing a minor penalty that the Islanders' Josh Bailey converted for a power-play goal.

In the second, Montoya tussled with rookie Gabriel Landeskog after a whistle, and Landeskog swiped Montoya with a gloved hand to draw a roughing penalty. Then, after the Avalanche rallied to tie and swarmed the net, Daniel Winnik wiped out Montoya with 1:43 to go in the third, giving the Isles a late power-play chance.

After Winnik knocked down Montoya, the goalie stayed down and was examined by trainer Garrett Timms before resuming play. "It's a little scary when it happens, but I just needed a minute to collect myself," Montoya said.

And the loss? "It's a lesson learned," he said. "We can't let it happen again."

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