Montreal, QC – Thomas Hickey picked an opportune time to score his first NHL goal, as the rookie defenseman netted the game-winner with 1:48 left in overtime to lift the New York Islanders to a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday at Bell Centre.
"This is a special place and to score in overtime and get the win, I couldn't be happier," Hickey said.
Matt Moulson potted a pair of power-play goals, while Frans Nielsen scored the game-tying tally midway through the third period to help the Islanders put the brakes on a two-game slide.
Evgeni Nabokov registered 30 saves in the victory.
Max Pacioretty scored twice and Travis Moen also lit the lamp for the Canadiens, who saw their five-game winning streak come to an end.
Carey Price allowed all four goals on 25 shots in the setback.
"It's a shame we left Carey out to dry like that," Pacioretty said. "Everyone has to look at themselves in the mirror and step up...myself included. Personally, I'm embarrassed."
The Canadiens carried a 3-2 cushion into the final frame, but the Islanders found the equalizer just before the midpoint of the third when Nielsen received a pass in the slot and ripped a wrister past the glove side of Price to knot the game at 3-3 at the 9:51 mark.
After Montreal failed on two late power-play opportunities to send the game to an extra session, New York took its first and only lead of the contest.
With just under two minutes left in overtime, John Tavares pushed a pass to Michael Grabner in the left circle before Grabner one-touched the puck to Hickey on the low right side and the rookie ripped the disc into the back of the net to send the Islanders to victory.
"John Tavares made the amazing play, got the puck back to Grabner and then I had my stick on the ice and swiped right at it," Hickey remarked.
Montreal struck first less than a minute in when Colby Armstrong came up with a steal behind the New York net and fed Moen for a one-timer from the left circle that snuck past the glove side of Nabokov for the early edge.
Pacioretty added a power-play marker with just under nine minutes left in the first when he took a nice feed from David Desharnais and one-timed a blast past Nabokov to make it 2-0 at the 11:02 mark.
Moulson's tip-in just 34 seconds into the second brought New York within one, but Desharnais and Pacioretty hooked up again at the 8:30 mark to restore Montreal's two-goal lead.
The Islanders were able to trim the margin in half heading into the third, as Tavares received a pass below the goal line and went toward the back of the net before sliding the puck into the slot for Moulson, who one-timed a quick shot past Price to make it 3-2 at the 16:57 mark.
Desharnais finished with two assists for Montreal ... Tavares tallied two assists for the Islanders ... Pacioretty has now scored in three straight games ... New York finished 2-for-4 on the power play, while Montreal went 1- for-4 on the man advantage.