Dale Weise stays hot as Montreal Canadiens beat New York Islanders 4-1

Dale Weise stays hot as Montreal Canadiens beat New York Islanders 4-1

Main pic: Montreal Canadiens’ goaltender Mike Condon makes a save against New York Islanders’ Brock Nelson, left, during third period NHL hockey action, in Montreal, on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes.

MONTREAL — Dale Weise has never been so hot, all least in the NHL.

The Montreal right-winger scored his eighth goal of the season to start the Canadiens on a 4-1 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

The Winnipeg native was only ever known as a scoring star when he had 48 points in 19 games in the Netherlands league during the 2011-12 lockout, when he earned the nickname “Dutch Gretzky.”

Now the 27-year-old has taken over the team lead in goals, only two short of his career high of 10 set last season, with five in the last four games.

“I don’t really pay attention to individual stats,” said Weise. “I’m just glad our line is playing well and contributing the way we are.

“We’re scoring some big goals for our team.”

Weise and linemates David Desharnais and Tomas Fleischmann each have six points in the last four games.

“We’re getting good looks and making plays,” said Weise.

Desharnais and Brendan Gallagher scored 1:33 apart in the third period and Tomas Plekanec added an empty-net goal for Montreal (12-2-1), which has not lost in regulation time (3-0-1) in four games since Mike Condon replaced the injured Carey Price as the starting goaltender.

Kyle Okposo scored for the Islanders (7-4-3), who are 1-2-2 in their last five games. Isles captain John Tavares returned from missing three games with an illness and had a few chances, including missing an open net from the doorstep, but was kept off the scoresheet.

A tight-checking game turned on a lucky break at 6:22 of the third period when a puck went off linesman Michel Cormier and set up a two on one. Fleischmann then fed Desharnais for the go-ahead goal.

“Obviously they got a break there,” said Okposo. “We hadn’t given them a lot offensively.

“They didn’t have much going. It was a kind of a ping-pong match, but they got a break when they needed it.”

“It’s unbelievable — it happens in Buffalo (a 2-1 loss on Nov. 1) and it happened again,” said Isles coach Jack Capuano. “I thought we had a good game plan and we played a good hockey team really well. It’s too bad it came down to that.”

Montreal had a 24-18 shot advantage and beat former Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak for only the second time in six meetings.

The Canadiens have not skipped a beat since Price suffered an undisclosed injury last week in Edmonton. Condon, a 25-year-old rookie from Needham, Mass., has allowed nine goals in six games. He is 5-0-1 with a 1.50 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage.

“His saves aren’t miraculous, his positioning is excellent,” said Montreal coach Michel Therrien. “He’s been able to work with the best goalie in the world and that also helps.”

Weise was in the slot to redirect a Jeff Petry feed past Halak on a power play at 18:50 of the first period.

The Canadiens had just killed a penalty when Okposo skated through the defence into the slot and beat Condon with a wrist shot 3:35 into the second frame.

After Desharnais scored, Gallagher was on the doorstep to deflect a Max Pacioretty shot between Halak’s pads at 7:55.

Plekanec got his sixth of the season into an empty net at 17:57.

Montreal killed all three Islander power plays and have yet to allow a short-handed goal at home in 23 chances this season.

The Canadiens complete a four-game homestand Saturday against Boston. The Isles play host to the Bruins on Sunday.

Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press

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