|MTL||2||2||1||(0 - 0)||5|
|NYI||0||1||0||(0 - 0)||1|
Montreal's homestand helped it get back on track. The Canadiens will have to maintain that effort on the road if they hope to secure a playoff spot.
Montreal, which plays four of its final six regular-season games on the road, looks for its fourth straight victory at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday night when it takes on a New York Islanders team just looking to finish a disappointing season on a positive note.
The Canadiens (39-27-10), winners of three of four, hold a one-point lead over Florida for the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot and trail the New York Rangers by one point for the No. 7 seed.
Tuesday's 4-1 victory over Chicago capped Montreal's 3-0-1 stretch at the Bell Centre following a season-high five-game slide from March 12-21. The Canadiens, though, are just 3-12-1 on the road since a 5-4 shootout win over Ottawa on Jan. 17.
Carey Price has been a major factor in Montreal's recent turnaround. The second-year goalie had 28 saves Tuesday - the first time in eight games he's allowed one or fewer goals. Price was 4-10-3 with a 3.63 GAA from Jan. 21-March 19.
"I think (Tuesday) was his best complete game in some time," said Montreal coach Bob Gainey of Price, 3-0-1 with a 2.20 GAA in his last four starts.
Price has just one win in his last 11 starts on the road, but made 27 saves in the Canadiens' last game on Long Island, a 5-4 win on Nov. 1.
Alex Kovalev had two assists and two goals in that victory, including the game-winner, as Montreal won its third in a row at Nassau Coliseum.
The veteran right wing looks to extend his point streak to five after scoring a goal 25 seconds into Tuesday's game and assisting on Andrei Markov's second-period power-play tally.
Kovalev is tied with Andrei Kostitsyn with a team-high 23 goals.
Kostitsyn's younger brother, Sergei, is not expected to play Thursday after suffering an upper-body injury Tuesday while getting checked into the boards. Defenseman Roman Hamrlik, though, traveled with the team after leaving Tuesday's game with an upper-body injury.
"Roman should be OK to go tomorrow night against the Islanders but we'd rather Sergei stay here for treatment," Gainey told the team's official Web site.
New York, meanwhile, is looking to bounce back from Wednesday's 5-3 loss at Washington - its fifth defeat in six games.
Okposo, who has six goals and nine assists in his last 12 games, scored his fourth career game-winner at Montreal in a 3-2 overtime victory on March 12.
Nielsen had a goal and an assist in that win and in the Nov. 1 loss to the Canadiens. He was out with a right leg injury in the Islanders' 4-3 shootout win in Montreal on Nov. 24 as New York snapped a six-game slide to the Canadiens.
New York leading scorer Mark Streit missed Wednesday's game with a strained groin. The former Canadiens defenseman is listed as day-to-day.
Yann Danis is likely to start against his former team for the third time this season. Danis is 1-1-0 with a 3.52 GAA in his first two appearances versus Montreal.