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Habs skate past Islanders, 'over' hits

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - Brian Gionta scored the go-ahead goal 48 seconds into the third period, P.K. Subban added two more and the Montreal Canadiens beat the New York Islanders for the first time in three tries this season, 5-2 on Thursday night.

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Gionta's 10th goal of the season came after center David Desharnais caught a wobbling puck by the blue line off a clearing attempt, set it down and passed it to Gionta in front.

Subban tied the game 2-2 with his eighth goal 10:53 into the second period and added an insurance goal midway through the third. Carey Price made 25 saves for Montreal.

Michael Ryder and Brendan Gallagher also scored for Montreal, which is 14-1-4 since losing to Toronto 6-0 on Feb. 9. The defeat came against the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on March 5.

Montreal has earned points in 10 of its last 11 games and sits atop the Northeast Division.

John Tavares and Lubomir Visnovsky scored for the Islanders, who lost their second straight after going 5-1-2 in the previous eight games to get close to the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

Montreal native Kevin Poulin made his second start of the season in goal for the Islanders to give starter Evgeni Nabokov a rest. The 22-year-old Poulin was called up from AHL Bridgeport on Feb. 23.

Ryder opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 9:36 of the first, tipping a slap shot of the point past Poulin, whose only other start resulted in a 4-2 loss to Carolina on Feb. 24. It was the ninth of the year for Ryder, who was reacquired from Dallas earlier this season.

Tavares made it 1-1 at 12:06 with his 18th goal of the season on a slick move, faking a pass to linemate Brad Boyes and beating Price with a snapshot from the left circle. Tavares is tied with Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz and Jeff Carter of Los Angeles, three goals behind league leader Steven Stamkos.

Visnovsky put New York ahead at 6:58 of the second when he tapped in a rebound with assists by Tavares and Matt Moulson.

Moulson assisted on both Islanders goals, and leads the Islanders with 21 assists.

Subban scored his eighth of the season on a power-play at 10:53 of the second when he blasted a shot from the point past Poulin.

The Islanders (13-14-3) have led or been tied in the third period in 24 of their 30 games.

But they've lost 11 of those contests (13-8-3).

New York hosts Pittsburgh on Friday and Florida on Sunday before starting a four-game road trip.

Montreal returns home to play Buffalo on Saturday.

NOTES: Montreal played without Brandon Prust (shoulder) and scratched defenseman Tomas Kaberle. ... The Islanders scratched defensemen Radek Martinek and Joe Finley and forward Eric Boulton. ... Defenseman Matt Carkner made his return for the Islanders after missing 20 games with a groin injury. ... Islanders right wing Michael Grabner also returned, having missed three games with a shoulder injury.

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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