MONTREAL - Alex Galchenyuk scored late in the third period to give the Montreal Canadiens a 4-2 victory over the visiting New York Islanders on Sunday in the second game of their home-and-home series.
David Desharnais, Tomas Fleischmann and Max Pacioretty, in an empty net, also scored for Montreal (16-4-2). Back from injury, Carey Price made 24 saves in his first start at home since Oct. 24.
The Canadiens lost forward Brendan Gallagher to injury midway through the second period. Gallagher went to the dressing room clutching his left hand and did not return to the game after blocking a slap shot by Johnny Boychuck.
Captain John Tavares and Anders Lee scored for the Islanders (10-8-3) while Thomas Greiss stopped 20-of-23 shots in defeat.
After missing two glorious chances earlier in the game, Galchenyuk scored on the power play at 16:31 of the third period to give Montreal the late lead. Galchenyuk beat Greiss with a one-timer glove side on a beautiful cross-rink pass by P.K. Subban.
Pacioretty added an empty-netter in the game's final minute, also on the power play.
The Canadiens finished 3-for-5 with the man advantage.
Montreal has now defeated New York in six straight encounters and in nine of the last 10. On Friday, the Habs beat the Isles 5-3 in New York in the first game of the home-and-home.
On the opening goal by Tavares, Price gave up an uncharacteristically juicy rebound on Travis Hamonic's shot from the point. Winger Kyle Okposo jumped on the puck, circled Price and fed Tavares for the easy tap-in at 18:41 of the first.
Desharnais scored the equalizer on the power play at the 9:37 of the second period. The Canadiens forward got the better of Hamonic during a goal-mouth scramble, connecting on a loose puck in the blue paint for his seventh goal of the year.
Fleischmann gave the home team the lead on a great individual play at 14:09 of the second. With Montreal playing shorthanded, Fleischmann stole the puck from Okposo at the blue-line and fired home his seventh of the season on the breakaway.
The Canadiens now lead the NHL with five short-handed goals.
As time expired on a penalty to Dale Weise, Lee tied the game 2-2 at 11:53 of the third.
Recalled from the AHL's St. John's IceCaps, 22-year-old Sven Andrighetto made his season debut. The speedy forward finished the game with 10:23 of ice time.
Notes: Montreal forwards Devante Smith-Pelly (lower body) and Torrey Mitchell (lower body) were not in the lineup. ??? Price improved to 9-2-0 on the season. The Canadiens netminder is now 11-3-3 all time versus the Isles.