Tambellini scores twice, but Isles lose in OT

New York Islanders' Jon Sim (16) is checked

New York Islanders' Jon Sim (16) is checked into the boards by Montreal Canadiens' Hal Gill during the second period. (Oct. 26, 2009) (Credit: AP Photo/Graham Hughes)

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MONTREAL - For a league-high sixth time this season, the Islanders went into overtime to earn a point, but they failed to secure their second win of the season as they fell, 3-2, to Montreal at Bell Centre last night.

Trailing for the majority of the game, the Islanders twice tied it on goals by Jeff Tambellini, who has scored three goals in the past two games after being scratched for five straight games after playing the season opener.

"It was such a great effort tonight," Tambellini said. "We fought so hard in a hostile barn when we were down twice. We're taking positives away from everything tonight. That's what this team needs."

Tambellini scored both goals on the power play to erase one-goal deficits, but former Islander Roman Hamrlik scored the game-winner at 1:32 of overtime to give Montreal its fourth win to complete a six-game homestand.

Hamrlik slipped home a saucer pass from Tomas Plekanec. "Nice pass, nice shot," goaltender Martin Biron said. "Guys with a lot of talent like that make those type of plays."

Biron had an impressive game, making 28 saves against a team that has begun to find its offensive rhythm. "Martin Biron stood on his head tonight," Tambellini said.

Montreal went up 1-0 at 13:34 in the first on a sharp centering feed from Glen Metropolit to Jaroslav Spacek, who got his first goal of the season.

The Islanders had two power-play opportunities in the first but were disjointed and indecisive with the man advantage, forcing Biron to make two saves on shorthanded attempts.

After a third failed power- play attempt, Tambellini tied the score late in the second period with the man advantage. Kyle Okposo chipped the puck out from down low to connect with Tambellini, who drove hard to the net, cut in toward the crease and jammed one through to beat Jaroslav Halak at 18:18.

Given the way the Islanders played the majority of the game, it was only a matter of when the Canadiens would re-claim their earlier lead.

Mike Cammalleri spun along the left goal line and threw the puck at the net, finding the stick of Travis Moen, who gave the Canadiens a 2-1 lead at 7:44 in the third period.

Tambellini tied it on a power-play goal at 15:44 to send the game to overtime.

"There isn't a single guy in here who isn't giving it everything he's got,'' Biron said. "That's how we have to continue to play.''

But like the other overtime losses the Islanders have experienced this season, they couldn't escape with the second point.

"We're close to breaking out and getting some wins," John Tavares said. "We may not be getting the bounces in the shootouts or the overtimes, but hopefully it will help out in the end."

Notes & quotes: Doug Weight missed his third straight game with the flu . . . Bridgeport goaltender Mikko Koskinen, who was selected in the second round of this year's draft, is out eight to 10 weeks with a torn labrum.

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