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Price, special teams help Canadiens defeat Islanders

by Sean Farrell /

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens came from behind against the New York Islanders on Sunday to sweep their season series, though they lost one of their top players in the process.

Alex Galchenyuk scored the go-head power-play goal with 3:29 remaining in the third period to give Montreal a 4-2 win at Bell Centre.

The Canadiens, who defeated the Islanders 5-3 at Barclays Center on Friday, swept the three-game season series.

Their win, however, was tempered by news that right wing Brendan Gallagher broke two fingers on his left hand when he blocked a slap shot by Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk with the game tied 1-1 in the second.

Gallagher will have surgery Monday. He is out indefinitely.

"Obviously he's a big part of our team but we have to be resilient, and we have to carry on even if we're going to be missing him for a while," Montreal goalie Carey Price said. "We have a lot of depth on our team. He's a leader on our team, we're going to miss him, however long that's going to be."

Galchenyuk one-timed defenseman P.K. Subban's cross-ice feed past Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss for Montreal's second power-play goal, and third on special teams. Max Pacioretty scored a power-play goal into an empty net with 8.9 seconds left. It was his 300th career point.

"It's nice to have that confidence knowing that late in the game when we're tied and going on the power play, we have that confidence and that killer instinct," Pacioretty said. "Everyone wants to be the difference and [Sunday] it was [Galchenyuk] and it was a great feeling to see that happen."

Price made 21 saves in his second consecutive start for the Canadiens (16-4-2) since returning from a lower-body injury that sidelined him for nine games.

Galchenyuk's goal was his third, and first in 11 games.

"He's been working hard. He's been doing all the right things," Price said. "He's been finishing in practice and sometimes you get in those types of funks, and he's got all the talent, you just knew it was going to pop out."

Galchenyuk scored after Islanders forward Taylor Beck was penalized for goaltender interference with 3:35 left in the third. New York was called for too many men with 1:22 remaining.

"I thought Price went down pretty easy," Islanders captain John Tavares said. "I don't see him going down when he's fighting through traffic that way. Our guy's skating, not even in the crease. It's a tough call to make. I didn't really see the too-many-men, but our bench wasn't happy. We lost the special teams battle so obviously there's no excuse there, but definitely some things didn't go our way.”

Tavares scored his team-leading 10th goal to give New York (10-8-3) a 1-0 lead at 18:41 of the first.

Montreal drew even and took a 2-1 lead with a pair of special-teams goals in the second. David Desharnais tied it with power-play goal at 9:37, and Tomas Fleischmann put the Canadiens ahead with a shorthanded goal at 14:09.

Anders Lee tied the game at 2-2 when he scored at 11:53 of the third period, four seconds after Montreal successfully killed Dale Weise's holding penalty. Price made a glove save on Tavares' tipped shot on a centering pass from Frans Nielsen at 13:53 to keep the game tied.

"It's really frustrating," Lee said. "We were right there, it's a tie game with three and a half minutes left, and the next thing you know we lose by two. It's really frustrating, especially how we played. We played a good road game and we had opportunities, and that's what [stinks]."

Greiss made 23 saves for the Islanders, who have lost nine of 10 against Montreal, including six straight.

"I thought we played a pretty good game 5-on-5," New York coach Jack Capuano said. "We came in here and gave up 26 shots with all the power plays they had. But they capitalized on their power play when they needed to and we didn't."

Gallagher, who had a seven-game point streak, his longest in the NHL, left the game after he was struck on the left hand while blocking Boychuk's slap shot at 12:34 of the second.

After retrieving his stick, Gallagher tried to continue playing without his left glove before skating to the bench, throwing his right glove and stick to the ice in frustration before heading straight to the dressing room while favoring his left arm.

"That was definitely not encouraging seeing that," Pacioretty said. "He's a warrior. He plays through anything and he stayed out there on that shift and it says a lot about his personality and his character."

Boychuk brought one of Gallagher's gloves to the Canadiens' bench and handed it to backup goalie Mike Condon. He knew Gallagher's injury was serious even before Montreal coach Michel Therrien announced the details after the game.

"Oh yeah, that would hurt," Boychuk said. "I mean, it's a one-timer right on his finger, so I don't think it's good."

Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec was called for interference at 12:57, but the Islanders failed to take advantage on the ensuing power play when Montreal took the lead. Fleischmann drove in on a breakaway and shot past Greiss for the Canadiens' NHL-leading fifth shorthanded goal.

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