MONTREAL — The Montreal Canadiens snapped an eight-game winless streak with a convincing 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders Tuesday night.
Phillip Danault, Brendan Gallagher, Jeff Petry and Shea Weber, into an empty net, scored for the Canadiens (12-10-6) to end the slump. Carey Price stopped 21-of-23 shots for his 11th win.
Scott Mayfield and Matthew Barzal scored for the Islanders (18-6-2), who were playing the second game of a back-to-back after beating Detroit 4-1 on Monday. Thomas Greiss made 36 saves in defeat.
The Canadiens avoided the club’s first nine-game losing skid since the 1939-40 season. The longest losing streak in franchise history is 12 games (1926).
Montreal honoured 11 former captains in a pre-game ceremony to commemorate the franchise’s 110th anniversary, including Yvan Cournoyer, Chris Chelios, Guy Carbonneau and Saku Koivu.
The Canadiens seemed determined to snap the losing skid with those legends in the building with a fast and physical game right from the get-go.
Greiss turned away early chances by Gallagher and Nate Thompson before Danault scored in the last second of the opening frame.
With time ticking away as he crossed the blue line, Danault fired a shot off Mayfield, kicked the loose puck onto his stick and beat Greiss at 19:59.
It was Danault’s first goal since Nov. 15 in Washington – Montreal’s last victory before dropping eight straight (0-5-3).
Claude Julien’s team kept coming in the second period with good pace, big hits and quality scoring chances.
That effort paid off when Gallagher doubled the lead at 13:30 after batting down a one-timer from Weber in the crease for the easy tap-in for his team-leading 11th of the season.
Montreal made it 3-0 at 2:12 of the third on Petry’s shot from the blue line, which deflected off forward Josh Bailey.
The Islanders remained in the game by scoring a goal just 41 seconds later. Mayfield’s one-timer came off a bouncing puck that knuckled past Price.
Barzal then cut the deficit to 3-2 with 2:29 remaining in the third by deflecting Nick Leddy’s shot from the point. However, the Canadiens held on for the win as Weber added the empty-netter with 28 seconds on the clock.
Montreal outshot New York 40-23.
Looking to create a spark, the slumping Canadiens placed backup Keith Kinkaid on waivers on Monday and recalled goaltender Cayden Primeau and winger Matthew Peca, who replaced Charles Hudon in the lineup.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi played his 100th NHL game. … Barry Trotz’s men dropped to 14-3-1 against Eastern-Conference opponents.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2019.
Kelsey Patterson, The Canadian Press