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game recap

Canadiens score six, defeat slumping Islanders

Gallagher has goal, assist for Montreal; New York is 2-6-2 in past 10 games

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Gallagher tips home opening goal

MTL@NYI: Gallagher redirects goal from the slot

Brendan Gallagher gets his stick on Ben Chiarot's shot and deflects it into the twine to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead

  • 00:35 •

NEW YORK -- Brendan Gallagher and Joel Armia each had a goal and an assist, and the Montreal Canadiens handed the New York Islanders their fourth straight loss, 6-2 at Barclays Center on Tuesday.

Brock Nelson scored in the third period to end a goal drought that lasted 153:03 for New York (35-22-8), which is 0-2-2 in its past four games and has lost eight of 10 (2-6-2). The Islanders remained tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Thomas Greiss was pulled at the start of the second period after allowing three goals on 12 shots. Semyon Varlamov made 12 saves.

 

[WATCH: All Canadiens vs. Islanders highlights]

 

"No words, really," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "I didn't expect that. We had a pretty pointed meeting and a pretty pointed practice (Monday) that we need to raise our battle level a little bit.

"We've got to put more skin in the game. We don't have enough skin in the game, and you can't win at this time of year unless you put more skin in the game to earn points. We got exactly what we deserved today."

Carey Price made 20 saves for Montreal (31-28-9), which is 4-1-1 in its past six games and moved within seven points of the Islanders and Blue Jackets in the wild-card race.

"When you don't give them anything easy, it helps when you have [Price] back there," Gallagher said.

Gallagher gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead on a redirection at 13:31 of the first period, and Jeff Petry made it 2-0 at 15:43.

Charles Hudon capitalized on a turnover by Islanders defenseman Devon Toews and scored his first of the season to make it 3-0 at 18:34 of the first.

Video: MTL@NYI: Hudon steals puck and picks the corner

Paul Byron extended the lead to 4-0 with a shorthanded goal on a partial breakaway after another giveaway by Toews at 12:35 of the second.

"I thought we were pretty solid in all areas," Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. "We scored goals by going to the net, we created some traffic there. I thought we played well defensively; we didn't give them much. At the end they got those power plays, but other than that, at 5-on-5 I thought we did a great job protecting the middle of the ice. Guys were in shooting lanes, guys were killing plays. I think we did a good job overall. I thought it was a solid game."

Anders Lee appeared to score 17 seconds into the third period, but a video review determined he used a distinct kicking motion to redirect Andy Greene's shot from the left point.

Nelson scored at 6:14 of the third to make it 4-1, but Jordan Weal scored on a 2-on-1 to make it 5-1 at 15:28.

Video: MTL@NYI: Weal wires home wrister from the circle

Ryan Pulock cut it 5-2 with a power-play goal during a 5-on-3 at 16:21 before Armia scored a shorthanded, empty-net goal at 17:10 for the 6-2 final.

"There's winning and losing, but it's more frustrating when you don't get an effort," Pulock said. "We just didn't have that tonight. We weren't ourselves."

Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk left the game with 11:18 remaining when his face was cut by the skate blade of Montreal forward Artturi Lehkonen. Trotz did not have an update on Boychuk's condition after the game.

"It's not good," said Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck, who had surgery on his left wrist after being cut by Patrice Bergeron's skate blade during a game against the Boston Bruins on Dec. 19. "Not easy to see. Not good at all."

 

They said it

"That was real scary. I've reached out and I've texted (Trotz) and hopefully get some news on him. He's a guy that I coached for a lot of years (with the Boston Bruins) and that is liked by everybody. He's a great person. Anytime you see a skate go up to somebody's face, and I think it was close to his eye, so we're not sure. But myself as well as most of the players in that room right now are asking that same question. We'll keep our fingers crossed that it's not too dangerous." -- Canadiens coach Claude Julien on Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk

"You've got to come ready to go, and that's mental. You put yourself in a position physically each night to be prepared and ready to go. The mental side of it will get you through everything." -- Islanders captain Anders Lee

 

Need to know

Canadiens forward Tomas Tatar did not play after the first period because of an upper-body injury. Julien said Tatar was kept out for precautionary reasons and will be reevaluated Wednesday. "I don't think it seems to be a long-term thing." … Montreal center Phillip Danault had two assists to extend his point streak to four games (one goal, five assists). … Islanders center Jean-Gabriel Pageau was minus-5 in 16:15 of ice time. … It was New York's first regulation loss at Barclays Center since Jan. 12, 2019 (12-1-3). They are 7-1-3 there this season.

 

What's next

Canadiens: At the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; SUN, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV)

Islanders: At the Ottawa Senators on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS2, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Video: Gallagher, Armia lead Canadiens past Islanders, 6-2

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