Sean Monahan’s second goal of the night broke a tie with 2:12 remaining in regulation and the host Montreal Canadiens spoiled a visit from franchise legend and recently named Islanders coach Patrick Roy with a 4-3 victory over New York on Thursday.
New York trailed 3-1 when Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher delivered an elbow to the head of Adam Pelech with 8:08 remaining in the third period. That resulted in a match penalty for Gallagher and a five-minute power play for the Islanders.
Mathew Barzal got the Islanders within one on a wrister three minutes into the penalty, and Kyle Palmieri made good in front of some net-front traffic to tie it in the waning seconds of the man advantage.
However, back at full strength and off a New York own-zone turnover, Monahan drove home a feed from Josh Anderson for the tiebreaker.
Montreal’s Sam Montembeault, who made 43 saves, survived another late Islanders flurry as the Canadiens snapped a three-game skid.
Monahan also had an assist, while Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki each had a goal with an assist for Montreal.
The Islanders fell to 1-2-0 under Roy, the Canadiens legend who replaced Lane Lambert as coach. Barzal, Palmieri and Bo Horvat each had a goal and an assist for New York, which is mired in an 1-5-1 rut. Noah Dobson contributed three assists, and Semyon Varlamov stopped 22 shots.
Montreal opened the scoring 7:06 into the game. On a power play, some tic-tac-toe passing from Monahan to Juraj Slafkovsky and Suzuki ended with Suzuki’s first goal since Jan. 2.
Thanks to an own-zone turnover by the Islanders, Suzuki then had a hand in the Canadiens going up 2-0 with 8:24 remaining in the first. He found a surging Caufield, who moved to position himself to beat Varlamov for his sixth goal in seven games.
Just 43 seconds later, Montreal again struck on a power play. Montembeault, who earned his third career assist, sent the puck to Mike Matheson, who broke down the right wing, then dropped a pass for Monahan to convert.
The Islanders got on the board 3:02 into that second period via a five-on-three power-play that finished with Horvat’s wrister.