Alex Galchenyuk, who hadn’t lit the lamp since Oct. 29 in Edmonton, scored his first home-ice goal of the season on a third-period power play to give the Canadiens a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Max Pacioretty added an empty-netter– the Canadiens’ eighth of the season.
Carey Price made 21 saves to run his record to 9-2.
Anders Lee scored on an Islanders power play 12 minutes into the final period to set up a torrid ending.
The teams played a very even 19 minutes in the first period before Kyle Okposo overpowered David Desharnais behind the Canadiens net to start a sequence that ended with John Tavares tapping in a loose puck for his 10th goal of the season.
Desharnais batted in a rebound on a Canadiens power play nearly 10 minutes into the middle period to tie the game at 1-1.
Then with Thomas Plekanec in the penalty box, fellow Czech Tomas Fleischmann scored on a breakaway to give the Canadiens the lead. It was the Canadiens’ league-leading fifth shortie of the season.
Brendan Gallagher was hit in the left hand by a Johnny Boychuk shot in the second period and did not return.
• LOVE this Elliotte Friedman feature on Shane Doan