NEW YORK -- Alex Galchenyuk had a hat trick and an assist to help the Montreal Canadiens to a 6-3 win against the New York Islanders at Barclays Center on Friday.
Brendan Gallagher had a goal and an assist for Montreal (25-29-10), which completed a home-and-home sweep of New York and moved within nine points of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes in the race for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. Charlie Lindgren made 32 saves.
[WATCH: All Canadiens vs. Islanders highlights]
"We're playing good hockey the last couple of weeks," Galchenyuk said. "We've got to keep building. Obviously not making the playoffs is hard, but we've got to stick together. We've got a lot of young guys coming in and chipping in."
Video: MTL@NYI: Galchenyuk crashes the net, pots rebound
Paul Byron made it 4-3 at 8:10 of the third period when he was fed in the slot from behind the net by Gallagher and put a wrist shot over Jaroslav Halak for his 16th goal of the season.
It was the fifth straight loss for the Islanders (29-29-7), who remain four points out of the second wild card from the East. Halak made 19 saves.
New York lost 3-1 at Montreal on Wednesday.
"I don't think anyone goes out there not trying their hardest, no question about that," Islanders captain John Tavares said. "Obviously, we just haven't been able to generate some momentum consistently. We just have to execute at a high level and have some better third periods and come on the right side of it. We just always seem to be coming on the wrong side of it."
Galchenyuk gave the Canadiens a 2-1 lead during a 4-on-4 situation at 2:17 of the second period when he one-timed a rebound after David Schlemko's shot from the slot hit the goal post. Galchenyuk had gone 15 games without a goal.
Video: MTL@NYI: Galchenyuk earns the hatty with empty-netter
"I had a lot of chances in those 15 games, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter," Galchenyuk said. "You want to see that puck cross the goal line. I'm happy I got the bounce tonight."
Josh Bailey tied it when Nick Leddy sent him on a breakaway at 4:23 to make it 2-2.
Galchenyuk scored his second of the game at 10:31 when he was left alone in the right face-off circle and one-timed Mike Reilly's feed to give Montreal a 3-2 lead.
The Islanders tied it 3-3 when Brock Nelson redirected Anthony Beauvillier's feed on a power play with 3.3 seconds remaining in the second. It was Nelson's 15th goal of the season.
Gallagher gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead 1:28 into the first period when he redirected Galchenyuk's shot from the left point.
Tanner Fritz tied it with six seconds remaining in the first when he took a pass from Nelson, split two defenders and scored a on a wrist shot to make it 1-1.
Video: MTL@NYI: Fritz, Nelson combine for nifty goal
Noah Juulsen made it 5-3 with his first NHL goal at 9:53 of the third.
"We're not playing well," New York coach Doug Weight said. "You can say what you want; we need more."
Galchenyuk completed the hat trick with an empty-net goal with 49 seconds remaining to make it 6-3.
"I think he's been playing well lately and he's had some chances," Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. "Tonight was one of those nights where there's an empty-net goal, an unbelievable setup by Reilly, but he can shoot the puck. When he's on top of his game, that's what he does best. It was nice to see him come out with a four-point night on his 400th (NHL) game. It looks good on him."
Goal of the game
Byron's goal at 8:10 of the third period.
Video: MTL@NYI: Byron finds twine on wrister from the slot
Save of the game
Lindgren's save against Adam Pelech at 5:26 of the third period.
Video: MTL@NYI: Lindgren flashes the leather on Pelech
Highlight of the game
Galchenyuk's goal at 10:31 of the second period.
Video: MTL@NYI: Galchenyuk roofs one-timer for second goal
They said it
"It was an opportunity to show some real good character here after giving up two late goals in each period, come out in the third and really not look like a team that's deflated. I thought the guys responded well in the third and found a way to score those goals that gave us the win." -- Canadiens coach Claude Julien
"It's tough. We all want to win and we all want to be in the postseason. It's going to take a lot of work from here on out, obviously. It's going to be difficult, but we're certainly not going to throw in the towel." -- Islanders forward Josh Bailey
Need to know
Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty (lower body) and defenseman Victor Mete (hand) each left the game. Julien said Mete will return to Montreal. Pacioretty will be re-evaluated Saturday. The Canadiens recalled defenseman Rinat Valiev from Laval of the American Hockey League after the game. … It was the first time in Islanders history that they scored in the final six seconds of two periods. … New York played seven defensemen; it was without forwards Jordan Eberle (soreness) and Casey Cizikas, who was with his wife for the birth of their first child, a son.
Canadiens: At the Boston Bruins on Saturday (5 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, NESN, NHL.TV)
Islanders: At the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday (5 p.m. ET; ATTSN-PT, MSG+, NHL.TV)
Video: Galchenyuk's hat trick powers Canadiens to 6-3 win