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Dec 23, 9:46 PM EST

Price lifts Canadiens to 3-1 win over Islanders


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AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek
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UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- Carey Price made 37 saves, and Andrei Markov and Brendan Gallagher scored second-period goals as the Montreal Canadiens cooled off the New York Islanders with a 3-1 victory Tuesday night.

Markov, in his 800th NHL game, and Gallagher beat backup goalie Chad Johnson 5:17 apart to erase a 1-0 deficit. Montreal has won five of six, with Price allowing two goals or fewer in each game during that span.

David Desharnais scored with 1:11 left to make it 3-1 for the Canadiens, who mustered only 21 shots.

Kyle Okposo scored in the first period for the Islanders. Johnson made 18 saves as No. 1 goalie Jaroslav Halak took a maintenance day and didn't dress for the game. New York, which had won four straight overall, fell to 13-4 at home and 10-2 in its last 12 at Nassau Coliseum.

After going nearly 14 minutes before recording their first shot of the game, the Canadiens needed only 36 seconds in the second period to put a puck on Johnson. Markov made it 1-all at 6:10 on Montreal's third shot of the period - equaling its first-period total.

Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic broke his stick near the New York net, and the Canadiens moved the puck from left to right inside the blue line. P.K. Subban set up defense partner Markov for a slap shot that beat Johnson.

Montreal took a 2-1 lead with 8:33 left in the period when Gallagher cleaned up a rebound of Sergei Gonchar's drive and scored his 10th of the season from the slot on the ninth Canadiens shot.

New York held a 23-12 shots advantage through two periods but entered the third down by a goal. The Islanders had two power plays in the first 40 minutes that generated four shots and no goals.

The Islanders controlled the first period and kept the pressure off Johnson, who hadn't played since Dec. 9. New York held Montreal at bay throughout and didn't allow a shot until there was 6:09 left. By then the Islanders had 11 shots and a 1-0 lead.

That goal came at 7:06 after Islanders captain John Tavares created a 2-on-1 break with Okposo by eluding a check at center ice. Tavares skated freely into the Montreal zone and made a pass from the right circle to the left, where Okposo dropped to a knee and steered in a one-timer for his eighth goal this season and third in six games.

NOTES: Michel Therrien tied Pat Burns for fifth place on the Canadiens' career list with 174 wins as coach. ... Price has made 10 straight starts. ... The Islanders are 1 for 17 on the power play the past six games. ... New York brought up G Kevin Poulin on an emergency basis to serve as Johnson's backup.

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