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Canadiens at Islanders preview

New York tries to end four-game losing streak; Montreal seeks home-and-home sweep

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / Deputy Managing Editor

CANADIENS (24-29-10) at ISLANDERS (29-28-7)

7 p.m. ET; SN, MSG, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV


The Game

The New York Islanders will try to avoid a fifth straight loss when they host the Montreal Canadiens at Barclays Center on Friday.

The Islanders, who lost 3-1 at Montreal on Wednesday, have fallen four points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Montreal will try to sweep the home-and-home series and win the opener of a six-game road trip.


Players to watch

Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin had a goal and an assist Wednesday. He has three points in the past three games.

Islanders center Mathew Barzal scored their only goal Wednesday. He has two goals and three assists during a three-game point streak.


They said it

"I remember whenever we were in position to make the playoffs and we faced a team that was out of it, I always warned my players to be careful. You need to find motivation, and we want to continue getting better." -- Canadiens coach Claude Julien

"I think we're all right in here. We're in a very important part of the year here where this next week is kind of … we have to win, that's the bottom line. We have to win. The guys in here, we all know that. We're going to show up tonight and try to get that done." -- Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock


Canadiens projected lineup

Max Pacioretty -- Phillip Danault -- Artturi Lehkonen

Alex Galchenyuk -- Jonathan Drouin -- Brendan Gallagher

Paul Byron -- Jacob de la Rose -- Nikita Scherbak

Andrew Shaw -- Byron Froese -- Daniel Carr

Victor Mete -- Jeff Petry

Noah Juulsen -- Karl Alzner

Mike Reilly -- David Schlemko

Charlie Lindgren

Antti Niemi

Scratched: Jordie Benn, Nicolas Deslauriers, Charles Hudon, Logan Shaw

Injured: Carey Price (concussion), Shea Weber (foot), Ales Hemsky (upper body)


Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- John Tavares -- Tanner Fritz

Anthony Beauvillier -- Mathew Barzal -- Jordan Eberle

Andrew Ladd -- Brock Nelson -- Josh Bailey

Ross Johnston -- Chris Wagner -- Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy -- Johnny Boychuk

Adam Pelech -- Sebastian Aho

Brandon Davidson -- Ryan Pulock

Jaroslav Halak

Christopher Gibson

Scratched: Casey Cizikas, Thomas Hickey, Dennis Seidenberg

Injured: Thomas Greiss (lower body), Nikolay Kulemin (upper body), Calvin de Haan (upper body), Scott Mayfield (lower body), Shane Prince (lower body), Alan Quine (lower body)


Status report

Hudon blocked a shot with his hand Wednesday and will not play. … Cizikas is with his wife, who is expecting their first child. Eberle (soreness) will be a game-time decision. If he can't play, the Islanders will likely dress seven defensemen.


Stat pack

The Canadiens have allowed one goal or fewer in three of their past four games, including a 1-0 shootout loss at the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday in which Lindgren made 33 saves. The rookie is 3-4-2 but has a 2.13 goals-against average, .933 save percentage and two shutouts. … Bailey will play his 700th NHL game. This is the Islanders' only home game in an eight-game stretch.

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