MONTREAL (AP) — Jonathan Drouin and Nikita Scherbak scored in the second period and the Montreal Canadiens beat the New York Islanders 3-1 on Wednesday night to extend their points streak to five games.
Paul Byron also scored and Antti Niemi made 27 saves to help the Canadiens improve to 2-0-3 in their last five.
Mathew Barzal scored his 18th of the season for the Islanders. They are winless in last four games and 4-8-2 in their last 14.
It was wide open in the first period, with the teams trading chances and each coming up with a goal. The highlight was the Islanders getting three breakaways while killing a penalty, although they failed to score on them.
Barzal took a pass at the Montreal blue line, blew past rookie defenseman Noah Juulsen and beat Niemi with a deke to the backhand at 3:50. Bryan tied it with 8:58 left in the period, beating Jaroslav Halak to the top corner off an assist from Drouin.
Drouin gave the Canadiens the lead on a power play at 8:29 of the second. He moved into the left circle to take a feed from Jeff Petry and put a shot inside the far post. Scherbak scored with 6:23 to go in the period.
NOTES: Canadiens coach Claude Julien said goalie Carey Price, who is recovering from a concussion, will not accompany the team for the rematch in New York on Friday night. Newly acquired defenseman Mike Reilly made his Canadiens debut. … The Islanders used their two trade deadline acquisitions — defenceman Brandon Davidson and forward Chris Wagner.
The teams meet again Friday night in Brooklyn.