MONTREAL (AP) Josh Anderson scored twice as the Montreal Canadiens held on for a 5-3 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

Anderson's two goals were the first times he had beaten a goalie this season. He entered the night with one goal - an empty-netter - through 29 games, and earned himself a loud ovation from the home crowd.

“Josh got rewarded tonight and we’re very happy for him,” Canadiens head coach Martin St. Louis said.

Cole Caufield, with his first goal in seven games, Joel Armia and Christian Dvorak also scored for Montreal, while Sean Monahan, Nick Suzuki and Justin Barron pitched in with two assists each.

Sam Montembeault stopped 30 shots as the Canadiens won for just the second time in their last 10 home games.

Brock Nelson scored twice, Noah Dobson had three assists and Semyon Varlamov finished with 36 saves for New York, which trailed 4-0 entering the third period but scored three times to make it a one-goal game. It was the Islanders’ first regulation loss in December.

Bo Horvat extended his point streak to a career-high 10 games with New York’s third goal.

Montreal controlled the play in the first period and outshot New York 14-10 before taking it up a notch in the second with four unanswered goals.

The Islanders were playing the second night of a back-to-back after losing 5-4 in a shootout to the Boston Bruins on Friday.

“We knew coming in that we needed a big night out of ourselves,” said Anderson. “Obviously with them coming off a back to back, we needed to take advantage and have a great start like we did.”

Armia broke the deadlock at 7:45 of the second period with a wrist shot from the slot over Varlamov’s shoulder.

Anderson doubled the lead with a shot through a screen at 10:35.

Montreal then scored twice 15 seconds apart in the final minute to take a commanding lead. Anderson scored his second of the night by driving to the net before Caufield finished a tick-tack-toe play with Nick Suzuki and Juraj Slafkovsky at 19:21.

The third period was all New York.

Nelson scored short-handed 2:07 into the period to get the Islanders on the board before adding another at even strength 1:36 later to cut the deficit in half. Nelson leads the Islanders with 15 goals this season.

St. Louis called a timeout after Nelson's second goal.

”(The Islanders) were out there like they’re on the pond, and just played very loose, and it’s really hard to play against,” St. Louis said. “Our game plan is to be executed based on predictability of what that team does. And when they’re down four goals in the third period, they’re not doing that."

Horvat buried a rebound at 14:06 to bring New York within one.

“He’s feeling it,” said teammate Anders Lee. “Things are coming to him and he’s also taking advantage of those opportunities, he’s playing great hockey.”

The Canadiens held off some sustained pressure from the Islanders the rest of the way and Dvorak scored into an empty net with 22 seconds left.


Islanders: Host Edmonton on Tuesday night.

Canadiens: At Winnipeg on Monday night to open a seven-game trip.



Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.