ISLANDERS (30-13-1) at CANADIENS (27-13-3)
TV: SN, TVA SPORTS, MSG+
Season series: Carey Price made 37 saves for the Montreal Canadiens in a 3-1 win against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on Dec. 23, in the final game before the Christmas break. Andrei Markov, Brendan Gallagher and David Desharnais scored for Montreal after Kyle Okposo gave New York an early lead.
Islanders team scope: Okposo had one goal in nine games since scoring against Montreal until he had a career-high four goals Friday to help the Islanders rally for a 6-3 home victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Okposo's linemates, John Tavares and Josh Bailey, each had three assists, giving the top line a 10-point night. The Islanders trailed 2-0 and 3-2 before scoring four times in the third period. "We've had that [never-say-die] mentality all year," Okposo said. "We've given up the first goal a little more than we would have liked, but I thought we responded well, especially in the third period." Jaroslav Halak made 21 saves in his 24th victory, and coach Jack Capuano said he would decide Saturday whether to play Halak, a former Canadiens player, or backup Chad Johnson.
Canadiens team scope: Montreal, which didn't skate Friday, is 1-2-1 in its past four games, including a 4-1 road loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. Backup goaltender Dustin Tokarski played against Ottawa after Price sustained an upper-body injury in a collision during a 3-2 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday. Price is day-to-day, and the Canadiens recalled former Islanders goalie Joey MacDonald from Hamilton of the American Hockey League as the likely backup to Tokarski. Forward Max Pacioretty has a goal in each of his past six games.