Pacioretty's hat trick lifts Canadiens over Isles


UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- Max Pacioretty had three goals, Scott Gomez netted his first in more than a year, and the Montreal Canadiens beat the New York Islanders 4-2 on Thursday night for their third straight win.

Pacioretty scored in all three periods, and the Canadiens (22-24-9) moved one point ahead of the Islanders (22-23-8) in the tightly packed non-playoff section of the Eastern Conference.

Carey Price made 31 saves for his fifth win in seven games. The Islanders scored twice in the last three minutes of the third period, but couldn't get even.

Pacioretty scored his 20th goal of the season at 1:23 on a wrist shot from the top of the right faceoff circle, beating goalie Evgeni Nabokov, who was coming off a 45-save shutout of the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. Erik Cole had the assist.