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Islanders at Canadiens preview

New York looks to move within one point of Metropolitan lead; Montreal reaching for wild-card spot

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

ISLANDERS (42-24-7) at CANADIENS (38-28-7)

7:30 p.m. ET; TSN2, RDS, MSG+, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The New York Islanders will try to close the gap for first place in the Metropolitan Division when they visit the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Thursday.

The Islanders, 5-3-0 in their past eight games after going 2-4-1 in their previous seven games, are in second place in the Metropolitan, three points behind the Washington Capitals and two ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins. New York holds a game in hand each on Washington and Pittsburgh.

The Canadiens, 2-4-0 in their past six games and 7-10-1 in their past 18, are one point behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Blue Jackets play at the Edmonton Oilers later Thursday.

 

Players to watch

Islanders forward Anders Lee has four goals in his past five games, including the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory against Montreal on March 14.

Canadiens goalie Carey Price is 2-2-0 with a 1.52 goals-against-average and .948 save percentage in his past four starts.

 

They said it

"We've got to make sure we're detailed because they can make you pay and they've been playing desperate hockey, and we've got to match their desperation." -- Islanders coach Barry Trotz

"We were all disappointed with how we played [in a 2-1 loss at the Islanders a week ago]. They outcompeted us, outworked us, outchanced us, and we'll have a better game right from the puck-drop." -- Canadiens forward Andrew Shaw

 

Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- Mathew Barzal -- Jordan Eberle

Josh Bailey -- Brock Nelson -- Andrew Ladd

Anthony Beauvillier -- Tom Kuhnhackl -- Leo Komarov

Matt Martin -- Casey Cizikas -- Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy -- Scott Mayfield

Adam Pelech -- Ryan Pulock

Thomas Hickey -- Devon Toews

Thomas Greiss

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Michael Dal Colle, Ross Johnston, Tanner Fritz, Johnny Boychuk, Luca Sbisa, Dennis Seidenberg

Injured: Valtteri Filppula (upper body)

 

Canadiens projected lineup

Tomas Tatar -- Phillip Danault -- Brendan Gallagher

Artturi Lehkonen -- Max Domi -- Andrew Shaw

Jonathan Drouin -- Jesperi Kotkaniemi -- Joel Armia

Paul Byron -- Nate Thompson -- Jordan Weal

Victor Mete -- Shea Weber

Brett Kulak -- Jeff Petry

Jordie Benn -- Christian Folin

Carey Price

Antti Niemi

Scratched: Nicolas Deslauriers, Charles Hudon, Matthew Peca, Dale Weise, Mike Reilly, Charlie Lindgren

Injured: None

 

Status report

Eberle took part in the morning skate after missing practice Wednesday. He played through an upper-body injury Tuesday and hopes to play. … Trotz said he had game-time decisions to make for his lineup and did not confirm his goaltender, though Greiss is likely to start. … The Islanders signed Miami University of Ohio defenseman Grant Hutton to a one-year entry-level contract for 2019-20. … Canadiens coach Claude Julien will use the same lineup for a fifth straight game.

 

Stat pack

Greiss is 10-4-1 with a 1.51 GAA, .950 save percentage and four shutouts in his past 16 games (14 starts). … Domi, who had a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win at the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, is one point shy of 200 in the NHL.

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