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Preview: Islanders at Canadiens

New York's Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck out; Montreal goes for back-to-back wins

by Sean Farrell / Correspondent

ISLANDERS (28-21-10) at CANADIENS (32-20-8)

7:30 p.m. ET; SNE, RDS, MSG+, NHL.TV


Islanders team scope

The New York Islanders will be missing two forwards when they try for their second win in as many games at the start of a nine-game road trip. New York placed Casey Cizikas on injured reserve Thursday with an upper-body injury; he appeared to injure his left hand during a 3-1 win at the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday. Forward Cal Clutterbuck, who also left during the win in Detroit, briefly took part in the morning skate but is day to day with a lower-body injury. Cizikas and Clutterbuck are two of New York's regular penalty-killers. The Islanders recalled forward Bracken Kearns from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League on Wednesday. The Islanders hold the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference; New York, the Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins each have 66 points, but the Islanders have one game in hand on Boston and two more regulation/overtime wins than Florida, each of which lost Wednesday. "A lot of us in here have played in the playoffs and understand just what that atmosphere is like," captain John Tavares said after the morning skate at Bell Centre. "I think it's kind of hard to recreate being in a playoff series, but certainly that mentality of understanding how important each two points are, even each point, and each game how crucial it is and how much can change in just a day from being in the playoffs and being out. With the position we're in, one point can be the difference. So I think it's just understanding that you can't take any game for granted, understanding what's at stake."


Canadiens team scope

Carey Price gets his first opportunity to move ahead of Ken Dryden for third in wins by a Montreal Canadiens goalie in Claude Julien's 1,000th game as an NHL coach. Price tied Dryden with his 258th win in Montreal's 3-2 shootout victory at the New York Rangers on Tuesday. The Canadiens are 1-1-0 under Julien, who replaced Michel Therrien on Feb. 14. "It was short but crisp and guys seemed excited about tonight," Julien said of the morning skate in Brossard, Quebec, "so hopefully we continue on the right track there and get ourselves in a good trend." Montreal, which is 2-6-1 in its past nine games, leads the Atlantic Division with 72 points, two ahead of the Ottawa Senators, who have played two fewer games. The Canadiens have not won consecutive games since winning three straight from Jan. 3-7. "That's the milestone that we know about and we worry about," captain Max Pacioretty said. "It's a good opportunity for us to build off a good road game. We like the way we competed last game and I think that's the number one thing that we have to worry about, is compete level. If we follow up with another strong performance we should feel pretty good and hopefully get on a bit of a roll."


Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- John Tavares -- Josh Bailey

Brock Nelson -- Anthony Beauvillier -- Ryan Strome

Andrew Ladd -- Alan Quine -- Jason Chimera

Nikolay Kulemin -- Bracken Kearns -- Stephen Gionta

Nick Leddy -- Johnny Boychuk

Calvin de Haan -- Dennis Seidenberg

Thomas Hickey -- Scott Mayfield

Thomas Greiss

Jean-Francois Berube

Scratched: Adam Pelech

Injured: Travis Hamonic (lower body), Shane Prince (upper body), Casey Cizikas (upper body), Cal Clutterbuck (lower body).


Canadiens projected lineup

Max Pacioretty -- Phillip Danault -- Alexander Radulov

Paul Byron -- Alex Galchenyuk -- Brendan Gallagher

Artturi Lehkonen -- Tomas Plekanec -- Andrew Shaw

Brian Flynn -- Michael McCarron -- Torrey Mitchell

Alexei Emelin -- Shea Weber

Andrei Markov -- Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu -- Greg Pateryn

Carey Price

Al Montoya

Scratched: Nikita Nesterov, David Desharnais, Sven Andrighetto

Injured: None


Status report

Clutterbuck is out for the 10th time in New York's past 11 games. Prince, who was placed on IR on Wednesday, also skated. … Julien will use the same lineup fromTuesday.


Who's hot

Tavares has scored in consecutive games and has 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) in his past 20 games. ... Ladd has four goals in his past four games. ... Pacioretty has 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in his past 10 games.

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