Published May 02, 2016
Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - Tomas Plekanec scored twice and added two assists, leading the Montreal Canadiens to a 6-4 victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday at Bell Centre.
David Desharnais chipped in a goal and an assist for the Canadiens, who stopped a two-game home skid and won for only the second time in their last five overall. P.K. Subban, Dale Weise and Alex Galchenyuk also scored in the victory, while Andrei Markov picked up three assists.
Montreal again played without All-Star goaltender Carey Price, who is considered day-to-day with an upper body injury he sustained Wednesday in a win against Columbus. Dustin Tokarski, starting his second straight game in place of Price, made 27 saves.
"That was one of the best teams in the league, but we had a good performance from all lines tonight," said Plekanec. "I'm happy that our line played very well tonight. It's (just) one of those nights when you get chances like I did."
John Tavares and Kyle Okposo each notched a goal and an assist for the Islanders, who were coming off Friday's 6-3 win over Pittsburgh and had a four-game win streak stopped. Okposo scored four goals against the Penguins.
New York goaltender Jaroslav Halak stopped just 27 shots and was pulled late in the third period.
The Canadiens went on the power play just 54 seconds into the game when Ryan Strome took a tripping penalty and cashed just over a minute later when Subban ripped a one-timer home from the left circle for his 10th goal.
Montreal scored even earlier in the second period for a 2-0 lead, as Weise found the back of the net just 10 seconds after the opening faceoff.
The Islanders killed off a Travis Hamonic hooking penalty midway through the second, then scored 21 seconds after the minor ended when Okposo snapped a shot home from the slot for his 14th goal.
Montreal went back on the power play a few minutes later and converted just six seconds into the advantage when Plekanec fired a shot from just above the right circle past a screened Halak for a 3-1 game.
The Islanders countered just over two minutes later when Nikolay Kulemin took a drop pass from Brock Nelson in the slot, skated into the right circle and slipped a shot off the far post into the net for his ninth goal.
Montreal, though, again scored early in the third period. Brendan Gallagher's shot from the slot was blocked in front and went directly into the right circle for Galchenyuk, who flipped one through Halak at 52 seconds.
Desharnais scored with 8:44 left, stealing the puck at center ice and beating Halak with a blast from the right circle, then Plekanec scored again just 2 1/2 minutes later on a 2-on-1 to make it 6-2.
Halak went to the bench in favor of Chad Johnson and the Islanders clawed back with goals from Anders Lee and Tavares to make it close.
"We mismanaged the puck in two periods, had 17 giveaways," said Islanders coach Jack Capuano. "We didn't have our transition game tonight, but I give them credit, they moved the puck well tonight and their power play executed as it should."
Tavares reached the 20-goal mark for the sixth straight season ... Montreal finished 2-for-4 on the power play ... The Islanders were 1-for-3 with the extra skater ... Montreal improved to 19-1-0 when leading after two periods ... The Canadiens have won both meetings with the Islanders this season, taking a 3-1 decision on Dec. 23 in Uniondale. The teams will square off once more on March 14 on Long Island ... The Islanders fell to 6-2-0 in the second of back-to-back games this season ... Montreal will play its final game before the All-Star break on Tuesday against Nashville ... The Islanders will also play just once more before the break, hosting Philadelphia on Monday.