Habs come up short as Tavares plays overtime hero for Islanders
Montreal fires season-high 55 shots in regulation
John Tavares got a second chance in overtime and made the most of it.
The Islanders captain was robbed on a spectacular save by Carey Price but got the puck back and made no mistake to give New York a 5-4 victory despite being outshot 56-24 by the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night.
"That first one was a heck of a save," said Tavares of a close-range shot that Price swung out a leg to save. "He's arguably the best goalie in the league.
"I had a chance to play with him before and seen his talent first hand, so you know you have to be at your best and you can't take any opportunity for granted. I tried not to quit. I stayed with it and I'm glad I got an opportunity and put it in."
Tavares also had a goal in regulation time as the Islanders (23-18-4) posted a third straight win. More eye-catching was Mathew Barzal, who had a goal and two assists to give him 10 points in the last three games. The rookie was coming off a five-point game against the New York Rangers on Saturday night.
"During the season there are ups and downs," said Barzal. "There are times when you feel you're never going to score again and times when everything's going in.
"Hopefully I can just ride it for a while."
Habs starting to emerge
Anthony Beauvillier and Adam Pelech also scored for New York
Barzal's sniping and playmaking allowed the opportunistic Islanders to win a game in which they were outplayed and outshot by a wide margin.
Nicolas Deslauriers, Paul Byron and Jonathan Drouin scored for Montreal (18-20-6) before Max Pacioretty tipped in a power-play goal to tie the game and force overtime at 13:01 of the third period. It allowed Montreal to pick up a point for a second game in a row after a shootout loss to Boston on Saturday. They are 2-0-2 in their last four.
"I thought we were the better team," said Montreal coach Claude Julien. "They scored three goals on [their first] 10 shots, but we showed character in coming back.
"It's disappointing we didn't get the two points, but we got six points out of the last eight and if we keep going like that we'll be back in the race."
For your Calder consideration: <a href="https://twitter.com/Barzal_97?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Barzal_97</a> repeatedly passing it to himself in OT. <a href="https://t.co/EsSaYQ9syd">pic.twitter.com/EsSaYQ9syd</a>—@NHLGIFs
Montreal owned the puck in the opening minute, but when Barzal got it, he set up Beauvillier for a goal on his team's first shot on Price 1:24 into the game.
Then Barzal raced down the right side and put a shot over Price's left shoulder at 6:29.
Deslauriers was alone on the doorstep to beat Thomas Greiss at 8:01. Jakub Jerabek picked up his first NHL point on the play.
Byron took the rebound of David Schlemko's shot off the end boards to score at 12:10.
Barzal's shot was blocked but Pelech swept in the loose puck from the slot 2:37 into the second frame. A blind, backhand pass by Alex Galcheyuk sent Tavares in to score on a short-handed breakaway at 5:36
For the second time this season, Montreal lost a power-play goal to the controversial "skate in the air" offside call after a video review showed Byron's skate a millimetre or two off the ice before Schlemko scored at 12:19.
Drouin banged in a Jerabek rebound at 19:16 for his first goal in 14 games since Nov. 29.
Pacioretty tied it 4-4 on a power play as he tipped in Jeff Petry's point shot 13:01 into the third.
"I don't feel I'm doing anything different," Pacioretty said of his scoring streak. "I got a couple of bounces and that's the way it goes some times.
"I feel I've been playing some good hockey for some time now and now I've got to keep going like this."
The Canadiens were without centres Phillip Danault (concussion) and Andrew Shaw (lower body), who were both injured against Boston. Daniel Carr and Byron Froese returned to the lineup.
The Islanders were missing six injured regulars — Josh Bailey, Nikolai Kulemin, Calvin de Haan, Johnny Boychuk, Andrew Ladd and Casey Cizikas.
The Canadiens claimed centre Logan Shaw off waivers from Anaheim. He will join the team Tuesday in Boston.