Monahan's late goal lifts Canadiens past Islanders 4-3 in Roy's return to Montreal
Fri, Jan 26, 2024
NHL News (AP)
MONTREAL (AP) - Sean Monahan scored his second goal of the game with 2:12 remaining, lifting the Canadiens to a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders and spoiling Patrick Roy's return to Montreal on Thursday night.
After the Canadiens gave up a 3-1 lead in the third period, Monahan fired a one-timer into the Islanders' net to put Montreal back on top.
Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield each had a goal and an assist for Montreal, which snapped a three-game losing streak. Sam Montembeault stopped 43 shots and was credited with an assist on Monahan's first goal.
"It was obviously a fun game," Montembeault said. "You see Patrick's picture right there in the locker room, so it was really exciting right from the start. I was excited to play that game and I'm really happy to get the win."
Mathew Barzal and Bo Horvat each had a goal and assist, Kyle Palmieri also scored and Noah Dobson had three assists as the Islanders fell to 1-2-0 under Roy. Semyon Varlamov made 22 saves.
Roy, the Hall of Fame goaltender who helped lead the Canadiens to Stanley Cup victories in 1986 and 1993, was hired as the Islanders' coach last Saturday after over seven years away from the NHL. He received a deafening ovation from the Bell Centre crowd when the Canadiens displayed a photo montage of their former netminder during the singing of "O Canada."
"I'd like to thank the Montreal Canadiens for that," Roy said. "I mean, it was really nice of them, what they did, and the fans were just like usual. This is a good crowd."
The Canadiens led 3-1 with nine minutes remaining in the third when forward Brendan Gallagher caught Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech with an elbow to the head.
"I think we all saw what happened," Roy said of Gallagher's hit. "I'm sure the league's going to look at it. That's all I can say for now."
Gallagher received a five-minute major and Barzal and Palmieri scored on the ensuing power play to even the score at 3 with 3:32 left.
"The penalties, we shot ourselves in the foot with those," Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis said. "We gave them a chance to get back in the game."
Monahan then scored to put Montreal back ahead and the Canadiens hung on despite a late Islanders push, which included a shot off the post by Horvat.
"That last 15 seconds felt like it was five minutes," Montembeault said.
Roy was the main attraction entering the night, with fans sporting his jerseys and holding signs during warmups that read "Bon Retour 33," a shoutout to his No. 33 that hangs in the Bell Centre rafters.
But Roy had to use his timeout before the game was 13 minutes old because the Canadiens jumped out to a 3-0 lead.
Suzuki tipped home a feed from Juraj Slafkovsky on the power play to open the scoring at 7:06 of the first period.
Caufield doubled Montreal's lead at 11:36 by dancing around Varlamov for his 17th of the season.
Just 43 seconds later, Mike Matheson rushed down the ice and laid a backhand pass into the slot for Monahan to score another power-play goal.
"I thought that we were tested there," Roy said. "We didn't need to give up another. After the period, we gathered and we talked and there's some stuff that I thought we started doing very well and I was very proud of our guys, how resilient we were to tie the game."
Islanders: Host the Florida Panthers on Saturday.
Canadiens: At Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.
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