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Game Preview: Canadiens @ Islanders

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

CANADIENS (42-9-7) @ ISLANDERS (43-23-4)

The Canadiens will be looking to snap a two-game losing skid on Saturday night when they visit the Islanders in Long Island.

After dropping a 1-0 decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night, the Canadiens surrendered five straight goals to the Ottawa Senators in a 5-2 loss on Thursday night at the Bell Centre.

Michel Therrien’s troops have secured just one victory in the month of March, but they’ve had their fair share of success against the Islanders this season, beating Jack Capuano’s contingent 3-1 in December before besting New York again 6-4 in January.

Andrei Markov and Tomas Plekanec have each registered four points over the course of those games. For his part, Plekanec has 37 points in 36 career games against the Islanders, the best point-per-game total the Czech pivot has amassed against any squad in the League.

The Islanders, who dropped a 2-1 decision to the Senators on Friday night, welcomed Kyle Okposo back to the lineup after he was sidelined for the last two months due to injury.

Carey Price will make his fourth straight start in goal. He boasts a solid 8-3-3 record against the Islanders over the course of his NHL career. Michal Neuvirth will be between the pipes for New York. Jaroslav Halak gets the night off after he tended goal against Ottawa.

Despite his prolonged absence, Okposo still ranks second on the team in scoring. He racked up 44 points in 47 games before going down with an injury. While John Tavares was deprived of his linemate's services for quite some time, he didn't miss a beat, taking over the team lead in scoring with 33 goals and 72 points.

Unless the two teams meet in the playoffs, Saturday night's game will mark the final meeting between the two teams at Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders are set to relocate to Brooklyn next season, and will play their home games at the Barclays Center.

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