Theodore makes 42 saves for first shutout of year

MONTREAL (AP) -- The Montreal Canadiens had last season's Jose Theodore and a little luck on their side.

Theodore made 42 saves for his first shutout of the season to
lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-0 victory over the New York
Islanders on Thursday night.

"He played an outstanding game. He was a wall,'' said Canadiens
defenseman Craig Rivet, whose fluky goal opened the scoring and
gave Theodore all the offensive support he needed.

The league's MVP and top goalie last season, Theodore entered
with a 1-4-2 record and 4.06 goals-against-average.

"In the last few games, we've seen the progress he's been
making,'' Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "Tonight he gave
us the kind of performance we got used to seeing from him last

Rivet scored on a power-play 7:50 in when his dump-in shot from
center ice took an odd bounce off the glass straight into a wide
open net.

The Islanders went on to lose their sixth straight, and seventh
in eight games.

"It's not a surprise that that goal ended up being the
game-winner,'' said goalie Chris Osgood, who was caught behind the
net on the play. "It really just epitomizes what we've been going
through for the last six or seven games. It's difficult. We're
starting to play better but we're just not getting results so
hopefully one of these games we will.''

Theodore got his 16th career shutout despite Montreal being
outshot 42-21.

''(Theodore) played a good game,'' Islanders coach Peter
Laviolette said. "We were in there for rebounds. We tried to get
in his face and cause some screens so that maybe the puck would pop
out, and he did a pretty good job of controlling them. When they
did pop out, we were on the wrong side of it, it seemed.''

Jan Bulis and Doug Gilmour also scored for the Canadiens, who improved to 3-1-2 in their last six games.

"I think everybody here deserves credit for that shutout,''
Theodore said.

New York held an 11-4 margin in shots in the first, but Rivet
scored the period's only goal on what proved to be the Canadiens'
first shot.

"I think it's just a common thread but that aside, after it
happened I thought we still battled pretty hard for 60 minutes and
it was disappointing -- again,'' Laviolette said.

Montreal had already killed two penalties when the Islanders'
Steve Webb was sent off for charging at 6:18.

The Canadiens had little offense going on their first power-play
opportunity as Rivet fired dumped the puck in from center ice off
the glass above the left-wing boards.

Osgood left the crease to get ready to play the puck behind the
net, but Rivet's shot caromed off a metal stanchion between two
panes of glass directly into the vacated net for his second goal of
the season.

"I think that's the first time I've ever seen that, but you
know what? That's a good first time to see it,'' Rivet said.
"Better in a game than in practice.''

Bulis scored 1:47 into the second as he beat Osgood through the
legs to put Montreal up by two.

Islanders defenseman Kenny Jonsson left with a virus during the
second period and did not return.

Gilmour scored into an empty net with 17 seconds remaining.

Game notes
The Islanders have outshot their opponent in four games
during their losing streak. ... Theodore had a career-high seven
shutouts last season. ... The Canadiens were outshot for the
seventh straight game. Montreal is 3-2-2 over that stretch.