UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Anders Lee scored the tiebreaking goal late in the third period and Thomas Greiss stopped 33 shots as the Islanders beat the Montreal Canadiens, 2-1, on Thursday night at Nassau Coliseum.
Adam Pelech also scored in the second period to help the Islanders win for the fourth time in five games to remain two points behind first-place Washington in the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals defeated the Flyers, 5-2.
Jordie Benn had the tying goal for Montreal late in the second, and Carey Price finished with 36 saves.
Lee converted on a two on one with Matthew Barzal for his team-leading 25th goal of the season with 2 minutes 57 seconds remaining. Lee waited patiently for Barzal to pass him the puck at the edge of the left circle before whipping it past Price. Lee has seven goals in the last 13 games.
After a scoreless first period, Pelech put the Islanders ahead with his fifth of the season at 1:20 of the second. Benn tied it with 1:50 left in the period when his shot from the left point eluded Greiss. It was Benn’s fifth goal of the season.
The teams played a brisk playoff-type game with Griess and Price making acrobatic saves at both ends. The Islanders outshout the Canadiens by 15-9 in the first period. The Canadiens had a 16-14 shots advantage in the second.
The vibrant play continued in the third as the teams traded chances before Lee’s heroics. The Islanders are 27-10-3 in their last 40 games and now a season-high 19 games over .500.
The Islanders continued to struggle on the power play, failing to convert on two chances. They are now 0 for 22 with the man advantage in their past 10 games.