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Game Preview: Islanders vs. Canadiens

The Islanders host the Canadiens in the final game before the All-Star Break (7 p.m., MSG+)

by Cory Wright WrightsWay / New York Islanders
New York Islanders (20-17-9) vs. Montreal Canadiens (29-13-7)
7 p.m. Barclays Center - Buy Tickets
TV: MSG+
Radio: AM970 - The Answer, 88.7FM - WRHU, 103.9FM - LI News

Thanks to a 4-0-1 stretch, the New York Islanders have jumped up the Eastern Conference standings and are back in the hunt for a playoff spot. 

The Islanders (49 points) are five points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wild card spot, but have three games in hand. Of course, the Islanders have to take advantage of having the games in hand, but it does put them in a better position than the five other teams with 49 points, who have all played more games. 

The Florida Panthers are one point ahead of the Islanders, but the Islanders also hold three games in hand. The Boston Bruins have 54 points, but the Islanders hold five games in hand over the Bruins.

The Islanders are looking to extend their streak as they head into the all-star break. After Thursday's game against the Montreal Canadiens, the Islanders are off until Tuesday Jan. 31. 

Hickey, Lee Day-To-Day: 

Neither Thomas Hickey nor Anders Lee skated at the Islanders practice on Wednesday afternoon. Hickey is dealing with a lower-body issue while Lee is still getting over the illness that kept him out of the lineup on Tuesday. 

Interim Coach Doug Weight said he'll see how both players feel on Thursday to see if they can play that night vs. Montreal.

Greiss in Goal, Beauvillier Likely In: 

Anthony Beauvillier is expected to draw back into the lineup on Thursday vs. Montreal after sitting out Tuesday's game. Beauvillier blocked a shot on Sunday and Weight said the rookie was sore Tuesday, so he wanted to give him time to heal up. 

Weight also said Thomas Greiss will start in goal vs. Montreal.

Canadiens Lineup Notes: 

David Desharnais and Alex Galchenyuk did not travel to Brooklyn, according to the Montreal Canadiens website. Andrei Markov is also injured and won't suit up against the Islanders. 

According to TSN's John Lu, the Canadiens will ice their same lineup from Tuesday night - a 5-1 win over the Calgary Flames. 

Montreal leads the Atlantic Division with 65 points, but are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games. Max Pacioretty leads the Canadiens with 21 goals and 39 points, Shea Weber has a team-high nine power-play goals and 17 power-play points, while Carey Price has a 22-9-5 record. The Canadiens beat the Islanders 3-2 on October 26.

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