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New York Islanders vs. Montreal Canadiens - game preview

by Katrina Doell / New York Islanders
Team Record: 22-22-8

Last Game: 1-0 SO W @ PHI
Season Series: 1-1-0 of 4
Team Record: 21-24-9
Last Game: 3-2 SO W vs PIT
Season Series: 1-1-0 of 4
Frans Nielsen
During Tuesday night’s game in Philadelphia, news leaked that Frans Nielsen had signed a contract extension. The team confirmed the report via Twitter and made the official announcement Wednesday that the Danish forward had signed a four-year extension.

It was only appropriate amid the news circulating of his extension that Nielsen would score what would be the game winner in a shootout. Nielsen was the first shooter, beating Ilya Bryzgalof glove-side. Aside from being known as one of the top defensive forwards in the league, Nielsen has become a shootout specialist and he is 20 of 34 (58.8%) which is the best in the NHL. 

Nielsen has been hot-handed lately. Last Saturday, he had two goals and an assist in the SO loss to Buffalo.
Tomas Plekanec
The 29-year-old center is third on Canadiens in scoring with 36 points (11g/25a) and his shot off the post in the eighth round of a shootout led the Habs over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night.

Plekanec and linemates Mathieu Darche and Travis Moen contributed to holding the league’s leading scorer, Evgeni Malkin to an assist on Tuesday. 

On Wednesday night, the Habs were sitting at 13th place in the Eastern Division with 51 points, one behind the Islanders.
#didyouknow: Both Frans Nielsen and John Tavares are one assist shy of 100 in their career.

He’s tweeting: @Aaron_Ness made his NHL debut on Thursday night in Philly. He was shown a lot of support from Sound Tigers and Islanders fans on Twitter and he thanked them after Tuesday night’s win. At 11:22 p.m. on Feb. 7 he tweeted: "Thanks for all the support everyone. I had a great time out there."

Worth mentioning: Canadiens forward Travis Moen returned from a five-game absence due to an upper body injury on Tuesday. He missed practice on Wednesday due to the birth of his daughter and is expected to play on Thursday.

Shooting stars: Both the Canadiens and the Islanders took down top eight teams in a shootout on Tuesday night.

A-Mac attack: The Isles d-man has had 10 shots on goal and is plus-five in the last five games. 

The Canadiens evened the season series with the Islanders with a 5-3 win on Dec. 13, 2011 at Centre Bell. Matt Moulson opened the scoring before Andrei Kostitsyn, Mathieu Darche and Erik Cole put the Habs up 3-1. The Isles rallied as Josh Bailey and John Tavares tied the score at three before Petteri Nokelainen netted the game-winner. Hall Gill added an empty-netter for insurance as Carey Price and co. skated to the victory.

Click the photo for gallery from last game.
Date of
Katic 9/24 Shoulder 52 out indef. (IR)
DiPietro 1/3 Sports hernia/knee swelling 16 10 weeks
Mottau 12/30 Concussion 17 No timetbl. (IR)
Jurcina 2/4 Elbow laceration 3 Day-to-day
Reasoner 1/6 Broken hand 14 No timetbl. (IR)
Power play: 19.4%
Penalty kill: 85.1%
Home record: 11-11-5
Road record: 11-11-3
Goals For: 126
Goals Against: 150
Power play: 12.3%
Penalty kill: 89.9%
Home record: 11-11-7
Road record: 10-13-2
Goals For: 140
Goals Against: 147

Answer from Tuesday's: When was the last time the Islanders won consecutive games in Philadelphia? The answer is: 2006-07. The Islanders won all four games at the Wells Fargo Center that season, ultimately taking the season series 6-2. .
With defenseman Dylan Reese out for 4-6 weeks with a left MCL knee sprain, and Milan Jurcina day-to-day with an elbow laceratoin, the lineup is unclear. Check back after morning media availabilty for lineups.

Canadiens (Expected) Lineups
Forwards: Pacioretty-Desharnais-Cole; Darche-Plekanec-Moen; Bourque-Leblanc-Eller; Campoli-Gomez-Palushaj

Subban-Gorges; Emelin-Kaberle; Weber-Gill

Price, Budaj

Frans Nielsen on signing a four-year contract extension: “It’s a very good day for me. I’m very proud to be here and for the next four years. They’ve really treated me really good here all the years that I’ve lived here. New York is a great city and it’s a great organization.””

Cory Wright contributed to this story
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