The New York Islanders look to snap a three-game winless streak (0-1-2) as they return to Barclays Center and host the Montreal Canadiens. In their most recent outing, the Isles suffered a 4-0 shutout loss to Boston on Saturday afternoon. Semyon Varlamov made 26 saves. The shutout marked the fifth time the Isles were blanked this season and third time during they were shutout in February.
The Canadiens open a three-game road trip against the Islanders. Montreal picked up a big two points with a 4-3 overtime victory over Carolina on Saturday. Jeff Petry scored the OT winner while Philip Danault, Max Domi and Brendan Gallagher scored in regulation. Charlie Lindgren made 27 saves.
MORNING SKATE UPDATES:
- Thomas Greiss was the first goaltender off at morning skate and is the projected starter to face Montreal tonight. Greiss has made 27 starts this season, has a record of 16-8-3, a goals against average of 2.65 and a save percentage of .916.
- Anders Lee took part in the optional morning skate today. Yesterday, the Islanders captain missed practice as his wife Grace gave birth to their first child Ruby.
"Yesterday was the best day of my life," Lee said. "Grace was unbelievable. Ruby is doing well. It's just been a whirlwind from the moment she woke me up in the middle of the night. You head in - it's our first child so you're going in pretty blind -- she did amazing. Grace was so strong. The look on our faces when we got to see Ruby for the first time was incredible. [We're] just so thankful."
- Jean-Gabriel Pageau will be playing at Barclays Center for the first time since being acquired by the Islanders last Monday. Pageau scored in his first two games with the Islanders and is the Isles leading goal scorer with 26 goals.
"It's going to be fun," Pageau said. "I'm going to take the train. Hopefully, I make it to the game. Everyone is being so helpful. I'm sure the directions will be easy and I'll make it in time."
- Barzal played at least 20 minutes (20:49 against Boston) for the 29th time this season which matched his total for his first two NHL seasons combined. The 22-year-old center has played at least 20 minutes in 10 straight games.
- Cal Clutterbuck drew back into the lineup for the first time since Dec. 19. The winger was sidelined after suffering a wrist laceration against Boston during the teams' first meeting of the season. Clutterbuck logged 10:08 alongside Matt Martin and Leo Komarov.
- The Isles power play went 0-for-6 on Saturday, snapping a streak of two straight games with a power-play goal. In the NHL, the Isles power play is ranked 22nd at 17.5.
- The Isles have allowed seven consecutive goals and gone scoreless for 107:49, since taking a 2-0 first period lead against St. Louis on Thursday.
- After not allowing a power-play goal in three games, the Isles penalty kill went 2-for-3 against the Bruins including 32 seconds down 5-on-3.
- Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who was acquired at the trade deadline, leads the Isles in goals with 26. The 27-year-old center scored in his first two games as an Islander. Through 63 games this season, Pageau has 42 points.
- Cal Clutterbuck and Anders Lee both took personal days during Monday's practice, but are expected to be available for Tuesday's game.
- The Islanders (78 points) are currently in the first wild card position in the Eastern Conference, tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets (78) with three games in hand. The Isles are two points back of the Pittsburgh Penguins (80 points) for third in the Metropolitan Division.
- The Canadiens (69 points) are on the outside of the playoff picture, as they sit nine points back of the second wild card, as well as third place in the Atlantic Division.
- Petry scored his 10th goal of the season and third game-winning goal. Petry leads Montreal defensemen with 39 points through 67 games.
- Danault extended his point streak to three games (1G, 3A) as he scored his 13th goal of the season. Through 67 games, the center has 45 points.
- Domi scored his second goal in as many games and extended his point streak to five games with four goals and three assists during that span. Through 67 games this season, Domi has 44 points (17G, 27A).
- Gallagher found the back of the net for the 21st time this season. The winger has three points (1G, 2A) in his last two games. Through 56 games this season, Gallagher has 41 points.
- Tomas Tatar extended his point streak to three games, with one goal and five assists during that span, as he compiled three helpers on Saturday. The Slovakian winger leads the Canadiens in goals (22), assists (39) and points (61).
- After suffering a concussion against Washington on Feb. 20, French defenseman Xavier Ouellet returned to the lineup against Carolina. Ouellet logged 13:20 including 1:18 shorthanded, had four blocks, one shot and one hit.
- Lindgren made his fifth start of the season and improved his record to 2-3-0. The 26-year-old has a 3.37 GAA and a .884 SV%.
- Montreal recalled Charles Hudon on emergency basis from their AHL affiliate the Laval Rockets on Feb. 27. Jake Evans was also recalled from Laval on Feb. 24. The 23-year-old center has played in nine games this season. Against Carolina, Evans logged 9:55, had two shots on goal and two hits.
- Jonathan Drouin did not play against Carolina due to an ankle injury. Drouin did not practice on Monday. The winger has 15 points (7G, 8A) in 27 games this season.
- The Canadiens announced on Wednesday that defenseman Victor Mete will miss the remainder of the season with a broken foot. Mete suffered the injury in Detroit on February 18. Through 51 games, the 21-year-old blueliner compiled 11 points (4G, 7A).
- The Canadiens are tied with Vegas for the highest average of shots for per game in the NHL with an average of 34.4.
- At the faceoff circle, the Canadiens are ranked eighth in the NHL with a faceoff win percentage of 50.9.
ISLES VS. CANADIENS:
The Canadiens claimed the first meeting of the season series with a 4-2 decision on Dec. 3. Philip Danault, Brendan Gallagher, Jeff Petry and Shea Weber scored for Montreal while Scott Mayfield and Mathew Barzal scored for the Islanders. Thomas Greiss made 36 saves.