Carey Price had his game locked in on Thursday night, but Andrew Ladd had the key.
Ladd scored a pair of goals - including the game-winner - on Thursday night, as the Islanders beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in their final game before the All-Star Break. Josh Bailey scored the insurance marker late in the third, as the Islanders went into the break on a season-high tying six-game point streak (5-0-1).
"We had our chances early, we were putting pucks on net and had a lot of opportunities and Price made some big saves and we kept sticking with it," Ladd said. "Getting pucks to the net, guys to the net and just played a confident game."
Video: Ladd's two-goal game propels Islanders to 3-1 win
Doug Weight said he thought Thursday was the Islanders' best game of the season. They outshot Montreal 42-22 and pushed the pace right from puck drop and didn't let up.
"You can't find me a guy that really had a bad shift," Weight said. "We played hard, we played fast, we compete and 1-20 we were dialed in. That was a really good game. That's a good game we played, a very good team."
The Islanders came out with a purpose on Thursday, outshooting the Canadiens 14-4 in the opening frame. John Tavares had an especially inspired first period, dangling Paul Byron and Tomas Plekanec with a pair of nifty dekes, but had a pair of quality chances denied by Price, as well as a post.
Video: MTL@NYI: Ladd slides opening goal five-hole on Price
But Ladd eventually found the sweet spot, beating Price five-hole from the right circle to put the Islanders up 1-0 at 13:07. Ladd's second goal also came in the right circle, except the 30-year-old winger beat Price up high for the eventual winner.
"That was his best game as an Islander," Weight said of Ladd. "That's how he releases the puck."
Video: MTL@NYI: Ladd labels the corner for his second goal
Weight also said he thinks Ladd benefitted from taking time off last week to nurse a couple of nagging injuries, which he'd been playing through earlier in the season.
Shea Weber blasted a heavy slap shot past Thomas Greiss (21 saves) on a second period power play, but that was all the offense Montreal mustered. Ladd scored the go-ahead goal at 7:20 of the third period and Bailey buried a power-play marker for the Islanders to seal it at 15:13. Bailey now has goals in two straight.
Video: MTL@NYI: Bailey pots power-play goal off the draw
"We just wanted to keep playing the way we were playing," Bailey said. "We're playing the right way and getting the results that we're looking for."
The win sent the Islanders into the break on a high note, five points back of the second wild card with three games in hand. Tavares will play in the All-Star Game on Sunday, while the team returns to action on Tuesday Jan. 31 vs. Washington.
CLUTTERBUCK LEAVES GAME:
Cal Clutterbuck (lower body) left the game in the second period and did not return.