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Preview: Islanders vs. Canadiens

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders

NEW YORK ISLANDERS (10-6-3) VS. MONTREAL CANADIENS (14-4-2)

7:30 P.M. BARCLAYS CENTER, MSG+, CHANNEL FINDER, WNYE 91.5 FM, WRHU 88.7 FM, LI NEWS 103.9 FM, BUY TICKETS - BROOKLYN PRIDE NIGHT

Morning Skate Updates: 

Carey Price to start in goal for the Canadiens.


PROJECTED LINES:

BROCK NELSON JOHN TAVARES KYLE OKPOSO
ANDERS LEE FRANS NIELSEN JOSH BAILEY
NIKOLAY KULEMIN MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI STEVE BERNIER
MATT MARTIN CASEY CIZIKAS CAL CLUTTERBUCK






SIX THINGS:

1. Hamonic: Travis Hamonic cited a family matter when he addressed the media Thursday, after news broke Wednesday that he had requested a trade prior to the start of the season. 

“The root of all this is a personal family matter of mine that I hold dear to my heart,” Hamonic said. “It has nothing to do with the organization or how I’ve been treated here for six years of playing and another two or three since I was drafted. I’ve honestly been treated like gold from the start.”

Jack Capuano acknowledged that he’s known about Hamonic’s request for several months and that the team is trying to accommodate his request to be closer to his Winnipeg home. 

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE AND WATCH HAMONIC ADDRESS THE MEDIA

2. Mikhail Grabovski's Status: Mikhail Grabovski practiced with the Islanders for the second straight day after leaving Monday’s win with an upper-body injury. Grabovski has three goals and five assists this season. 

“Yesterday he was a little bit sore. Today he went through it,” Capuano said. “It’s a day-to-day thing. We’ll talk to the trainers, but I thought he looked fine today in practice.”  


3. Top Line in Top Form: John Tavares (2G, 1A), Kyle Okposo (3A) and Brock Nelson (1G, 1A) combined for eight points in the Islanders’ 5-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. The top trio came together on the winning goal and has been red-hot of late. Nelson has a four-game point streak, including a three-game goal streak, while Tavares has six points (4G, 2A) in his past four games. Okposo hit 200 career assists on Monday, while also extending his assist streak to three games. 

4. Brooklyn Pride Night: The Islanders are wearing their black-and-white, Brooklyn-themed jerseys Friday. 

5. Vs. the Habs: The Islanders lost to Montreal 4-1 in the team’s first meeting this season on Nov. 5, though the game-winning goal was scored off a tough bounce in the third period. 

“I thought we played pretty well against Montreal in the last game,” Capuano said. “We go in there and limit their shots (24). We had that unfortunate bounce there in the neutral zone, which led to the 2-on-1. They are a good team. They have six guys on the back end that transition great and obviously good goaltending.

“We have to stay structured, we have to move the puck, move our feet. We have to try to play a fast game against a really quick team. We have to try to counter attack.”

6. Carey Price: Goaltender Carey Price will start tonight for the Canadiens. Price is making his first start since suffering a lower-body injury on Oct. 29.
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