NEW YORK — Alex Galchenyuk completed his hat trick shortly after Paul Byron and Noah Juulsen scored 1:43 apart in the third period, lifting the Montreal Canadiens over the New York Islanders 6-3 on Friday night.
Galchenyuk scored his third goal into an empty net with 49 seconds left and also had an assist. Brendan Gallagher also scored for Montreal, which improved to 24-29-10 with its second straight win.
Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty left the game in the third period with a lower-body injury.
Montreal’s Charlie Lindgren stopped 32 shots.
New York dropped to 29-29-7 with its fifth straight loss. Tanner Fritz, Josh Bailey and Brock Nelson scored, and Jaroslav Halak made 19 saves.
The Islanders entered the game trailing Columbus by four points for the final Eastern Conference wild card. However, New York has lost 27 of 41 (14-22-5) since Dec. 1.
Montreal added to New York’s woes when Byron and Juulsen scored to give Montreal a home-and-home series sweep — the Canadiens beat New York 3-1 on Wednesday in Montreal.
Byron made it 4-3 with his 16th of the season at 8:10. Juulsen, a rookie, then scored his first NHL goal on a slap shot off of a feed from Artturi Lehkonen.
Gallagher opened the scoring with his team-leading 22nd goal 1:28 in by deflecting Galchenyuk’s shot from the blue line.
The lead held until Fritz scored his second of the season with six seconds remaining in the period.
Galchenyuk snapped the tie with his 13th of the season 2:17 into the second with the teams playing 4 on 4. Galchenyuk found the rebound when David Schlemko’s shot ricocheted off the post.
Bailey tied it 2:06 later with his 16th of the season.
Montreal took its third lead of the game on Galchenyuk’s second of the period at 11:31, but Nelson’s power-play goal with 3.3 seconds left sent the teams into the intermission tied at 3.
NOTES: MSG Network reporter Stan Fischler announced he would retire at the end of the season. … Bailey played in his 700th NHL game, all with the Islanders. … RW Jordan Eberle missed the game with soreness from Thursday’s practice. New York also did not have C Casey Cizikas, who was awaiting the birth of his first child.
Canadiens: At Boston on Saturday night.
Islanders: At Pittsburgh on Saturday night.
For more AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey