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Islanders break through in third period, blank Canadiens

Apr 15, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) makes a save behind the screen of New York Islanders forward Kyle Palmieri (21) and teammate defenseman Chris Wideman (20) during the first period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Parise broke a scoreless tie early in the third period, Noah Dobson quickly added to the lead and goaltender Ilya Sorokin recorded the shutout as the visiting New York Islanders spoiled Carey Price’s return to the Montreal Canadiens with a 3-0 victory Friday night.

Sorokin made 44 saves to post his seventh shutout of the season, which ties Glenn “Chico” Resch and Semyon Varlamov for the franchise record, and 10th in his career.

Brock Nelson also scored once in a two-point game for the Islanders (35-30-9, 79 points), who kept their faint playoff hopes alive. New York is 13 points behind the Washington Capitals for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth with eight games remaining for each team.

Price, who last played July 7, 2021, when the Canadiens fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final, returned after recovering from knee surgery as well as a stint in the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program. He stopped 17 shots for the Canadiens (20-44-11, 51 points).

The Canadiens were the better team through two periods, but Parise netted his 15th of the season at 4:25 of the third period to open the scoring. Sprung on a three-man breakaway when Kieffer Bellows stole the puck at the New York blue line, Parise converted a give-and-go with Mathew Barzal.

Dobson’s 11th goal of the season 104 seconds later doubled the lead. Nelson gained the puck on the forecheck and set up Dobson, who wired a perfect shot from the right face-off dot.

Nelson’s empty-net goal, his 34th tally of the season, rounded out the scoring.

The Canadiens — who lead only the Arizona Coyotes in the league standings — lost their fourth straight game and 10th time in 13 outings (3-8-2).

Prior to the game, the hosts and their fans honored former Islanders great Mike Bossy, the Montreal product who died Thursday night.

Bossy, a four-time Stanley Cup champion, scored 50 or more goals in nine consecutive seasons before his Hall of Fame career was cut short due to injury.

–Field Level Media