Habs start fast, dominate Islanders in New York

Montreal Canadiens center Jordan Weal (43) stops in front of New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss (1) with Islanders right wing Josh Bailey (12) defending during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Brendan Gallagher had a goal and an assist in Montreal's three-goal first period, and the Canadiens went on to a 6-2 win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.

Grosse victoire, grosse musique. ��

Big win, big beats.#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/Y9YizpLGFS

— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) March 4, 2020

Joel Armia also had a goal and an assist, and Jeff Petry, Charles Hudon, Paul Byron and Jordan Weal also scored for the Canadiens, and Phillip Danault had two assists. Carey Price stopped 20 shots to improve to 14-6-4 against the Islanders.

Brock Nelson and Ryan Pulock scored for the Islanders, who have lost four straight and eight of their last 10 games (2-6-2). Thomas Greiss gave up three goals on 12 shots in the first period for the Islanders. Semyon Varlamov replaced him to start the second and finished with 12 saves.

Trailing 4-0, Anders Lee appeared to get the Islanders on the scoreboard 17 seconds into the third as Andy Greene sent the puck at the net from the left side and it deflected off Lee's skate and in. However, the officials reviewed the play and disallowed the goal, ruling Lee made a distinct kicking motion.

Josh Bailey then stole the puck from Price behind the net, and passed in front to Nelson, who put it into the open goal for his 24th at 6:14. It ended a scoreless drought of 153:03 for the Islanders, who last scored in the first period at St. Louis on Thursday before being shut out at home against Boston on Saturday.

Islanders defenceman Johnny Boychuk was cut when he was hit in the face by the skate of Montreal's Artturi Lehkonen. Boychuk was down on the ice briefly before he got up and skated off the ice with his hand covering his face.

Weal pushed the Canadiens' lead to 5-1 with his eighth with 4 1/2 minutes left, and Pulock pulled the Islanders back within three on a power-play goal less than a minute later.

Armia then sealed the win with an empty-netter with 2:50 to go,

With the Islanders on their first power play of the game, Devon Toews turned over the puck in the defensive zone. Armia got the puck and passed to the middle to Byron, who beat Varlamov for his fourth with 7:25 left in the second to make it 4-0. It was just the third short-handed score allowed by New York this season.

Montreal took the lead with three goals in a 5:03 span late in the first period.

Gallagher got the Canadiens on the scoreboard as he deflected a shot by Ben Chiarot from the left circle up over Greiss' shoulder for his 22nd with 6:29 to go.

Petry doubled Montreal's lead 2:12 later. He got a pass from Gallagher between the top of the circles, faked as he slid to his left and fired a shot from above the left circle that beat Greiss. It was Petry's 11th of the season and gave him one in two straight games.

Hudon made it 3-0 when he got the puck near the middle of the blue line, skated up to the left and fired a shot off the left post and in with 1:26 left in the opening period. Hudon, playing in his 12th game of the season, got his first goal since Nov. 10, 2018, against Vegas.

UP NEXT

Canadiens: At Tampa Bay on Wednesday night.

This report by The Associated Press was first published Mar. 3, 2020.