NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 5th (All times Eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (14-4-4) at New York Islanders (9-11-2), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The first-place Montreal Canadiens will try to avoid a letdown when they visit the New York Islanders for Tuesday's battle at Nassau Coliseum.
The Canadiens are coming off Sunday's 4-3 regulation win at Boston, a victory that pushed Montreal two points ahead of the Bruins for the top spot in the Northeast Division.
It also marked Montreal's 11th straight game with a point, as the club has registered an 8-0-3 mark since last suffering a regulation setback on Feb. 9 against Toronto.
Montreal began a five-game road trip on Sunday and will try to keep the trek headed in the right direction on Long Island. The Habs are 6-1-2 as the guest this season and have won five of their last six games away from Montreal.
David Desharnais scored twice in Sunday's win over the Bruins and his second tally of the night, which came just prior to the midway point of the third period, was the game winner.
Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty added tallies for the Canadiens. Brendan Gallagher posted two assists to back a 31-save performance from Peter Budaj.
"It was an interesting game to play in, for sure," said Gallagher. "To come into this kind of environment where everyone hates us and to be able to walk away with two points is a great way to kick off this road trip."
Pacioretty has four goals and seven points over his last four games and was named the NHL's First Star for the week ending March 3.
The Isles also won on Sunday, notching a shootout decision over Ottawa to improve to 1-2-1 on a seven-game homestand. It was just the third home victory of the season for New York, which is 3-8-1 at the Coliseum.
Frans Nielsen and John Tavares each scored in the shootout session on Sunday, leading the Islanders to a 3-2 win over Ottawa.
Nielsen opened the shootout by beating Sens goaltender Robin Lehner through the pads with a wrister. Evgeni Nabokov turned away both Jakob Silfverberg and Daniel Alfredsson.
Tavares then iced the game for the hosts by using several stick-fakes to draw Lehner to the left side of his crease before slipping the puck home on the opposite side.
"I didn't think he was expecting the move I wanted to do," Tavares said. "I just tried to sell the shot to try and make him commit so that I could go back to my backhand."
Brad Boyes and Michael Grabner tallied in regulation and Nabokov finished with 29 saves for the Islanders.
The Isles will host the New York Rangers on Thursday before completing the homestand Saturday against Washington.
Montreal hosted the Isles on Feb. 21 and was handed a 4-3 overtime setback. New York has won two straight and five of seven in this series overall, but the Canadiens boast seven victories over their past 10 trips to Long Island.
03/05 10:46:48 ET