Islanders (14-10-3) vs. Montreal (15-8-4)
(7:30 p.m. ET, TV: FSN NY | Radio: Bloomberg 1130) The Montreal Canadiens visit the Nassau Coliseum for their first of four meetings against the Islanders.
Viktor Kozlov's recent resurgence has moved him into third on the Islanders' leader board with 20 points. Jason Blake is now tied with Alexei Yashin for the team lead in points after scoring against Ottawa on Tuesday.
After scoring his first goal of the season on Tuesday, Andy Hilbert takes a three-game point streak into tonight's game against Montreal. In that span, he has tallied one goal and four assists. Bruno Gervais also got on the score sheet by scoring his first two points of the season in the back-to-back games against Pittsburgh and the NY Rangers.
"It's good to feel like I'm helping the team," said Gervais. "But I'd rather have no points and a win."
The Islanders' 2004 second-round draft pick, Blake Comeau, was recalled today by the Islanders and will skate into tonight's game.
"It's really exciting to play in my first NHL game," said Comeau. "Things were going well down in Bridgeport for the team and personally. I just want to go out and play hard."
If the Islanders win tonight they will re-capture the top spot in the division. After New Jersey won last night against Montreal, the Devils catapulted back into first place.
The Canadiens held a 1-0 lead going into the third period yesterday against the Devils, but a late goal by Zach Parise and an overtime winner by Patrik Elias gave Montreal their second straight loss.
Offensively, the Canadiens are led by captain Saku Koivu with 24 points and defenseman Sheldon Souray with ten goals. Always dangerous is former NY Ranger Alexei Kovalev, who is third on the team with 19 points.
After acquiring David Aebischer from Colorado last season, French-born Cristobal Huet has taken over the reigns as number one goalie and has posted a 10-3-2 record with two shutouts thus far. Montreal head coach, Guy Carboneau, said Huet will start tonight's game.
Chris King and Steve Mears have the call on Bloomberg Radio 1130, while Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe can be seen tonight on FSN NY.
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COMEAU RECALLED FROM BRIDGEPORT
The Islanders have recalled right wing Blake Comeau from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL on an emergency basis. Comeau was the Islanders second round pick (47th overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. This season with Bridgeport, his first professional hockey season, Comeau has scored seven goals and added 14 assists for 21 points in 23 games. He also had 20 penalty minutes with three power play goals and one short handed goal.
Last March, the Islanders signed the Meadow Lake, SK native to a three-year entry level contract. In the 2006 world Junior Championships, Comeau was the leading scorer and an alternate captain for the gold medal-winning Team Canada. In six games for Canada in the tournament, Comeau had three goals and four assists. He was also named a 2005-06 First Team All-Star for the Western Conference of the WHL.
Islanders 31 points, 2nd place, Atlantic Division
Montreal - 34 points, 2nd place, Northeast Division
Islanders Jason Blake, 15 goals; Alexei Yashin, 18 assists; Blake and Yashin, 28 points; Brendan Witt, 47 PIM.
Montreal Sheldon Souray, 10 goals; Saku Koivu and Andrei Markov, 16 assists; Koivu, 24 points; Souray, 50 PIM.
Islanders - Power play: 16.4 percent. Penalty killing: 79.9 percent.
Montreal - Power play: 20.3 percent. Penalty killing: 89.6 percent.
Islanders Rick DiPietro (11-7-1, 2.66 GAA, .915 SV%); Mike Dunham (3-3-2, 2.70, .921).
Montreal Cristobal Huet (10-3-2, 2.32, .931); David Aebischer (5-5-2, 3.04, .906).
Islanders 7-5-2 at home
Montreal 7-4-2 on the road
1 Mike Dunham
39 Rick DiPietro
3 Tom Poti
4 Joel Bouchard
6 Sean Hill
8 Bruno Gervais
24 Radek Martinek
32 Brendan Witt
77 Alexei Zhitnik
10 Richard Park
11 Andy Hilbert
12 Chris Simon
16 Mike York
17 Shawn Bates
18 Mike Sillinger
25 Viktor Kozlov
33 Eric Boguniecki
45 Arron Asham
55 Jason Blake
57 Blake Comeau
81 Miroslav Satan
30 David Aebischer
39 Cristobal Huet
6 Janne Niinimaa
8 Mike Komisarek
25 Mathieu Dandenault
32 Mark Streit
44 Sheldon Souray
51 Francis Bouillon
52 Craig Rivet
79 Andrei Markov
11 Saku Koivu
14 Radek Bonk
15 Sergei Samsonov
20 Mike Johnson
22 Steve Begin
27 Alexei Kovalev
35 Tomas Plekanec
42 Alexander Perezhogin
47 Aaron Downey
57 Garth Murray
73 Michael Ryder
84 Guillaume Latendresse