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Preview: Canadiens at Islanders

Montreal missing center Alex Galchenyuk; New York without defenseman Thomas Hickey

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / Deputy Managing Editor

CANADIENS (29-13-7) at ISLANDERS (20-17-9)

7 p.m. ET; MSG+, SNE, RDS, NHL.TV


Canadiens team scope

The Montreal Canadiens will again be without center Alex Galchenyuk, who will miss his second straight game because of a knee injury. Galchenyuk did not make the trip to New York, according to the Canadiens website. Montreal has an eight-point lead on the second-place Ottawa Senators in the Atlantic Division entering its final game before the All-Star break, which will end a stretch in which the Canadiens play 10 times in 18 days. "The stretch is still going," captain Max Pacioretty said Wednesday. "We have a very important game coming up and we want to head into the break with some momentum. It's going to be important for us to play a full 60 [minutes] and build off our last game (a 5-1 win against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday). It wasn't perfect, but we like the way we're heading, especially with the injuries and the amount of games we've been playing. We like the way we're going and we've just got to keep at it. Obviously, there are going to be some long stretches, and this is one of them, so we've just got to bear down."


Islanders team scope

The New York Islanders are aiming to enter the All-Star break on a high under coach Doug Weight, who is 3-0-1 since replacing Jack Capuano on Jan. 17. The recent surge has the Islanders five points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wild into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. New York has three games in hand on Philadelphia. "I think it's important right now … what are you avoiding by talking about the obvious?" Weight said. "It's in front of us; we've got an uphill climb, we've got to pass a lot of teams, but three points, four points, come on. You don't have to beat it to death, put [the standings] up for 20 minutes, 30 minutes before our meetings and then let's go to work."


Canadiens projected lineup

Max Pacioretty -- Phillip Danault -- Alexander Radulov

Paul Byron -- Tomas Plekanec -- Artturi Lehkonen

Sven Andrighetto -- Brian Flynn -- Andrew Shaw

Daniel Carr -- Jacob De La Rose -- Torrey Mitchell

Alexei Emelin -- Shea Weber

Mark Barberio -- Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu -- Zach Redmond

Carey Price

Al Montoya

Scratched: Ryan Johnston

Injured: Alex Galchenyuk (knee), Brendan Gallagher (hand), Andrei Markov (groin), David Desharnais (knee), Greg Pateryn (ankle)


Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- John Tavares -- Josh Bailey

Anthony Beauvillier -- Brock Nelson -- Ryan Strome

Andrew Ladd -- Alan Quine -- Jason Chimera

Nikolay Kulemin -- Casey Cizikas -- Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy -- Adam Pelech

Calvin de Haan -- Johnny Boychuk

Dennis Seidenberg -- Scott Mayfield

Thomas Greiss

Jean-Francois Berube

Scratched: Stephen Gionta, Shane Prince

Injured: Travis Hamonic (lower body), Thomas Hickey (lower body)


Status report

The Canadiens did not skate Thursday morning. All of their injured players will be re-evaluated when Montreal returns from the break on Monday. Desharnais practiced Wednesday but will not play. Price, who is 11-3-3 against the Islanders, will start his third consecutive game. … Lee, who missed the Islanders' 4-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday because of illness, took part in the morning skate and will play. Beauvillier, who also missed the game Tuesday because of a lower-body injury, will return. Hickey was injured during the game Tuesday and will not play. Mayfield will take his place.


Who's hot

Radulov has five points (two goals, three assists) in the past three games. … Tavares has three goals and three assists in the past four games, Chimera has five goals in the past seven and Kulemin has five points (three goals, two assists) in the past five. Leddy has a three-game point streak (one goal, three assists). Greiss is 3-0-1 with two shutouts in his past four starts. He has allowed five goals during that stretch.

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