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Game Preview: Islanders vs. Canadiens

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

CANADIENS (42-19-7) at ISLANDERS (43-23-4)

TV: NBCSN, TVA, CITY


Season series: The Montreal Canadiens have defeated the New York Islanders twice, outscoring them 9-5. Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov has a goal and three assists, and forward Thomas Plekanec has two goals and two assists. New York forward Kyle Okposo has two goals and an assist, and linemate John Tavares has a goal and two assists.

Canadiens team scope: Montreal begins a three-game road trip that continues against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday and Florida Panthers on Tuesday. Goalie Carey Price, who gave up five goals in a 5-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, will start. Coach Michel Therrien said there will be lineup changes on the trip but didn't say what they would be. Montreal called up defenseman Greg Pateryn on from Hamilton of the American Hockey League on Friday. Defenseman Alexei Emelin (shoulder) hasn't played since Feb. 18 but could be activated on the trip. The Canadiens have lost five of their past six games. "Our schedule for the rest of the year, we've all looked at it and it's a tough schedule, but I think that's what we want going into the playoffs," forward Max Pacioretty told the Canadiens website. Pacioretty has six goals in his past 10 games.

Islanders team scope: New York had a chance to vault Montreal for first place in the Eastern Conference but lost to the Senators 2-1 on Friday. The Islanders can pass the Canadiens with a regulation win. "It's a tough [loss Friday] but [Saturday] will be tough too," goalie Jaroslav Halak said. "That's a very big game and we have to be prepared for that." Halak, who started Friday, likely will back up Michal Neuvirth, who is 1-0-1 and has allowed six goals in two starts with the Islanders. New York has lost three straight home games and four of its past six. "It's good to have that next game," forward Brock Nelson said. "It's going to be a bounce-back game for us so we have to come ready to play." The Islanders are 8-4-0 in the second of back-to-back games.

New York Islanders
43-23-4 (90 points – 1st in Metropolitan Division, 4th in Eastern Conference)
23-11-0 home
Montreal Canadiens
42-19-7 (91 points - 1st in Atlantic Division, T-1st in Eastern Conference)
20-11-2 road
7:00  p.m.
Nassau Coliseum
Uniondale, NY

Television:
NBCSN

Channel Finder

Radio: WRHU 88.7 FM, LI News Radio 103.9 FM
Play-by-play: Chris King
Islanders News:
- Senators 2, Islanders 1 (Mar. 13)
- Isles TV: Capuano; Halak; Kennedy Tavares

Islanders player to watch
Johnny Boychuk - Defenseman
Boychuk

Johnny Boychuk signed a seven-year contract extension Thursday, sticking with the club through the 2021-22 season. Boychuk leads all Islanders defensemen in points (32), assists (25) and plus-minus (+17) and is enjoying career highs in goals (seven) as well as assists and points. Boychuk brings a devastating slap shot to the blue line, breaking Senators goalie Andrew Hammond’s mask with a blast Friday night. 
Canadiens player to watch
Carey Price - Goaltender


Carey Price is having a Vezina and MVP-calibre season in the Canadiens goal. Price leads the NHL in wins (37), goals-against average (1.93) and save percentage (.935) and is backstopping the Canadiens to the top of the Eastern Conference. The Canadiens are 21st in the league in goal scoring, but allow the fewest goals per game, largely because of Price’s stellar play. Price made 37 saves in a 2-1 win over the Isles in December.

New York Islanders previous game lines
Forwards
12 Josh Bailey 91 John Tavares 21 Kyle Okposo
27 Anders Lee18 Ryan Strome 26 Tyler Kennedy
40 Michael Grabner
29 Brock Nelson
86 Nikolay Kulemin
17 Matt Martin – 53 Casey Cizikas 15 Cal Clutterbuck

Defensemen

44 Calvin de Haan 55 Johnny Boychuk
37 Brian Strait
3 Travis Hamonic
14 Thomas Hickey – 11 Lubomir Visnovsky

Goaltenders
41 Jaroslav Halak
30 Chad Johnson
Montreal Canadiens previous game lines
Forwards
67 Max Pacioretty - 51 David Desharnais - 11 Brendan Gallagher
27 Alex Galchenyuk - 14 Tomas Plekanec - 15 PA Parenteau
81 Lars Eller - 25 Jacob De La Rose - 21 Devante Smith-Pelly
8 Brandon Prust - 17 Torrey Mitchell - 22 Dale Weise

Defensemen
79 Andrei Markov - 76 P.K. Subban
77 Tom Gilbert - 26 Jeff Petry
55 Sergei Gonchar - 64 Greg Pateryn

Goaltenders
31 Carey Price
35 Dustin Tokarski


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