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Former Monarch Hickey's 1st NHL goal sinks Habs in OT
New York Islanders Matt Moulson (26) congratulates teammate Thomas Hickey (14) on his game-winning goal against the Montreal Canadiens with goalie Evgeni Nabokov at left on Thursday. (REUTERS/Christinne Muschi)
Hickey - a former fourth overall pick acquired off waivers by the Islanders this season and played parts of four seasons in Manchester - pinched in on a rush and deposited a pass from Michael Grabner into an open net after Frans Nielsen tied the game midway through the third period. Matt Moulson scored twice with the man advantage for the Islanders and Evgeni Nabokov made 30 saves for his third win in his last four starts.
Travis Moen opened the scoring in the first minute of the game and Max Pacioretty added two goals to give him four in his last three games for Montreal, which lost for the first time since dropping a 6-0 decision at home to Toronto on Feb. 9.
With New York trailing 3-2, Nielsen accepted a pass from Josh Bailey as he entered the Canadiens' zone, coasted into the slot and fired a wrist shot that beat the glove of Carey Price (21 saves). Moulson tipped captain Mark Streit's point shot and one-timed Tavares' pass while standing in the slot to bookend the second period with power-play goals.
Moen surprised Nabokov with a one-timer along the ice from the left faceoff dot 49 seconds into the first period. Pacioretty made it 2-0 on a power play at 11:02 of the first and restored Montreal's two-goal lead at 8:30 of the second, giving him seven points on a four-game scoring streak.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Hickey was selected fourth overall by Los Angeles in the 2007 entry draft and played parts of four seasons in Manchester of the American Hockey League. ... Montreal's Brandon Prust fought Joe Finley after he took exception to the latter's hit on Lars Eller midway through the second period. Prust has six fights this season. ... Montreal had successfully killed 15 of 16 penalties on its winning streak but allowed two goals on four penalties against the Islanders. ... Moulson has nine goals this season. Six on the power play.