New York Islanders (28-21-10) at Montreal Canadiens (32-20-8)
7:30 p.m., Bell Centre
Radio: 660AM, 101.9FM - WFAN; 88.7FM WRHU
The Islanders season-high nine-game road trip continues on Thursday in Montreal, as the Isles take on the Canadiens for the third and final time this season. The Islanders and Canadiens split their first two games this season; the Canadiens winning 3-2 in October while the Islanders took the rematch 3-1 in January.
As of Thursday morning, the Islanders (66 points) occupy the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Islanders, Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers are all tied with 66 points, but the Islanders hold a pair of tiebreakers - games played vs Boston and regulation/overtime wins over Florida.
Video: Ladd's two-goal game propels Islanders to 3-1 win
Cizikas and Clutterbuck Leave Tuesday's Game:
Casey Cizikas (upper body) and Cal Clutterbuck (lower body) both left Tuesday's win over the Detroit Red Wings with injuries. That left the Islanders with 10 forwards to finish the game. If one of those forwards can't play, then Stephen Gionta will draw into the lineup. If they both can't go, then Bracken Kearns will make his season debut. Kearns was an emergency recall on Wednesday afternoon.
Islanders Place Prince on IR, Recall Kearns:
The Islanders placed Shane Prince (upper body) on injured reserve Wednesday, retroactive to Feb. 12. That led to the emergency recall of Kearns, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers leading scorer with 40 points (18G, 22A).
Canadiens Change Coaches During Slump:
The Canadiens have been at or near the top of the Atlantic Division all season, but have hit a rough patch of late. Montreal is 3-6-1 since the all-star break and changed coaches during that stretch, as Claude Julien replaced Michel Therrien on Feb. 14. The Canadiens are 1-1-0 under Julien, beating the New York Rangers 3-2 in overtime on Tuesday.