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Plekanec with four-point night as Habs beat Islanders 6-4

NHL.com @NHL

MONTREAL - Tomas Plekanec scored twice and added two assists to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 6-4 victory over the visiting New York Islanders on Saturday.

P.K. Subban, Dale Weise, Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais also scored for Montreal (28-13-3), while Dustin Tokarski made 27 saves.

Kyle Okposo, Nikolay Kulemin, Anders Lee and John Tavares scored for the Islanders (30-14-1). Former Hab Jaroslav Halak, playing in his second game of a back-to-back, stopped 27-of-33 shots in defeat. After Montreal's sixth goal, Halak was replaced by Chad Johnson, who faced just two shots.

Plekanec put Montreal in front 3-1 with five minutes remaining in the second period and he added his second midway through the third to give the Habs a four-goal lead. Plekanec also added assists on the Canadiens' first two goals.

Montreal has now won five of its last six games against the Islanders.

Tokarski was in net for Carey Price, who suffered an upper-body injury in Montreal's victory over the Blue Jackets on Wednesday in Columbus. Head coach Michel Therrien said Price's injury, sustained when forward Matt Calvert crashed into the Canadiens netminder, was not serious, though he offered no timetable for his return.

As a result, the Canadiens recalled goaltender Joey MacDonald from the Hamilton Bulldogs, Montreal's AHL affiliate, on Friday.

The Islanders, meanwhile, gave Halak the start between the pipes on back-to-back nights for the second time this season. Halak made 21 saves in New York's 6-3 come-from-behind win versus the Penguins on Friday.

Halak came into this one with a perfect four wins in four attempts against his former club while conceding a total of four goals.

But it was an uphill battle for Halak on Saturday, with Jack Capuano's men getting into penalty trouble early for the second straight game. The Islanders rank 27th in the league on the penalty kill, and it showed just two minutes into the contest.

With forward Ryan Strome in the box for tripping, Subban put the Habs in front on the home team's second shot on net at 1:56 of the first period.

The struggling Canadiens power play looked convincing on their first opportunity of the game, as Andrei Markov faked a slap shot from the point before feeding Subban, whose one-timer blew by Halak.

After the Habs and Isles traded goals, including Okposo's fifth in his last two games, Montreal added its second on the power play to go up 3-1. Just six seconds after defenceman Thomas Hickey took a tripping penalty, Plekanec won the faceoff and fired home his 12th of the year.

Montreal finished 2-for-4 with the man advantage.

Weise's second-period goal??? a tap-in scored 10 seconds into the frame??? equalled his career high in points (16) set last season.

The Canadiens scored early into all three periods, as they needed just 52 seconds into the third to go up 4-2.

After Desharnais and Plekanec made it 6-2 for Montreal, the Islanders scored two goals in less than three minutes, but that's as close as the comeback would come.

Montreal had scored just seven goals in its previous four games.

Notes: After arriving late in Montreal after Friday's win against Pittsburgh, the Islanders cancelled their Bell Centre skate on Saturday morning. ??? The Habs play nine of their next 11 games at the Bell Centre. ??? The Isles' 30 wins lead the NHL (tied with the Nashville Predators). ??? Max Pacioretty's six-game goal streak was snapped. ??? The Islanders were outshot for the first time in 16 games.

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