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Game preview: Canadiens @ Islanders

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

CANADIENS (14-4-2) @ ISLANDERS (10-6-3)

BROADCAST : RDS & SPORTSNET EAST

Immediately after the game against the Arizona Coyotes, the Canadiens hit the road towards New York to take on the Islanders at their new home in the Barclays Center.

The Habs will try to start the game in a better manner than they did Thursday night, when they had to play catch-up after falling behind 3-0. The team ended up losing 3-2, with two unanswered goals, including one in the last minute of the third period while Mike Condon was on the bench in exchange for an extra forward. Captain Max Pacioretty scored his tenth goal of the season to go with an assist to become the leading scorer of the team. The ever-impressive Dale Weise also scored, and now has nine goals on the season, only one goal back of his career-high of 10 goals in a season.

While the Canadiens will be playing in their second game in two nights, the situation will be quite different for the Islanders, who last played on Monday, November 16, against… the Arizona Coyotes. Islanders Captain John Tavares led the charge with two goals and an assist. Kyle Okposo had three assists, pushing his current point streak to three games (collecting five assists in that span).

After starting nine consecutive games, Mike Condon will cede his spot in between the pipes to Carey Price. It will mark Price’s first game since October 29th. In 15 career starts against the Islanders, the 28-year-old goaltender has a record of 9-3-3, with a goals-against-average of 2.51 and a save percentage of .912. He will be facing Jaroslav Halak, who was in the Islanders net for their latest win against the Coyotes.

Michel Therrien will be forced to make a few changes to his lineup for tonight’s game. Torrey Mitchell will not play after suffering a lower-body injury against the Coyotes. It was confirmed after the game that the #17 would not make the trip to Brooklyn with his teammates. His state will be re-evaluated on a day-to-day basis. Alexei Emelin, who was placed on the injury reserve this week, will also not play.

As for the Islanders, Mikhail Grabovski may miss tonight’s game, as he suffered an upper-body injury last Monday in his team’ win over the Coyotes.

Tonight will mark the first time Michel Therrien’s troops visit the new arena in Brooklyn, which succeeds the Nassau Coliseum as the Islanders’ home venue. The Islanders had played their home games in that arena since 1972.

This will be the second of three matchups between these two teams this season. In their first clash, the Canadiens defeated the Islanders 4-1 at the Bell Centre. The teams won’t have to wait long for their final duel, as they will meet once again this Sunday at the Bell Centre.

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