NEW YORK (AP) Kyle Palmieri scored at 1:17 of overtime and the New York Islanders extended their winning streak to six games with a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

Pierre Engvall and Casey Cizikas also scored, Semyon Varlamov made 13 saves and the Islanders inched closer to securing a playoff spot. Adam Pelech added two assists for New York, which is in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 89 points - three ahead of Pittsburgh with three games remaining.

“With what is at stake right and the teams that are chasing us, we put ourselves in a spot where we control our destiny,” Cizikas said. “Every single night, we are competing, we are playing like that. You can see it on the ice, you can feel it in the dressing room, guys are buying in.”

Cole Caufield scored and had an assist, Jordan Harris had a goal and Sam Montembault made 30 saves, but the Canadiens lost for the fourth time in five games.

Palmieri's winner was his 28th goal of the season and extended his individual goal streak to four games.

“I thought he was really good at rebound control, making sure we were going to have to beat him,” Palmieri said of Montembault. “Realistically, I just saw a little opening and tried to shoot it there.”

Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson left at 5:33 of the first period and didn't return. Dobson is second on the team with 70 points (10 goals, 60 assists) and leads the Islanders by averaging just shy of 25 minutes of ice time.

Cizikas helped the Islanders erase a one-goal deficit for the second time when he beat the outstretched leg of Montembault to the far post and neatly tucked in a backhand at 6:30.

“He’s an Energizer Bunny," forward Matt Martin said of Cizikias. "He works hard, is responsible defensively, as well. He’s always been talented enough, but he is playing well and playing hard but really he is not playing any differently than he always does. He’s just playing in more of an offensive-minded situation.”

Caufield slid a puck between the legs of Varlamov and broke a 1-1 third-period tie at 3:42.

Harris opened the scoring late in the first with a knuckle-type slap shot that tricked Varlamov. Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock blocked a shot earlier in the sequence without his stick, but the Canadiens eventually prevailed on the extended possession.

“I didn’t feel that we had our fastball in the sense of execution,” Canadiens coach Martin St. Louis said. “They made it hard on us to make plays in space. They always have numbers back in the neutral zone. They blocked shots, they had a lot of urgency.”

Varlamov made a critical glove save in the final minute of the opening period, denying Joel Armia’s opportunity from the top of the crease and keeping the Islanders' deficit at one after 20 minutes.

“It’s a tough game for a goalie,” Islanders coach Patrick Roy said about Varlamov facing only 15 shots. “You don’t have that many shots and when they come, they are quality shots. Varly is in the zone right now. He’s big out there, he’s square, he is tough to beat.

"He gave us a chance to stay in that game and win that hockey game.”

The Islanders answered at 5:07 of the middle frame when Engvall wired a wrist shot past the glove of Montembault and into the top corner.


Canadiens: Visit the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

Islanders: Visit the Rangers on Saturday.



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