New York Islanders (6-9-1) at Montreal Canadiens (11-4-1), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens take aim at their longest winning
streak in three years as they play host to the New York Islanders on Thursday
The Canadiens picked up their fifth victory in a row on Tuesday, a 3-1
decision over the New York Rangers in a game that saw just eight total shots
in the first period before things began to open up a bit.
Rookie Alex Galchenyuk scored the tie-breaking goal in the third period for
Montreal, with the third overall pick of the 2012 draft putting home his
second career goal. Raphael Diaz sealed things with an empty-net goal and
Carey Price came up with 24 saves.
"I think we're just sticking to our system in every game," said Price, who
made his first start in three games because of the flu. "Obviously that's been
working for us and we're seeing success from that. It's easy to stick with it
when you see it works."
Max Pacioretty also tallied, his fifth point in three games for the Habs, who
have outscored their opponents 14-5 over the winning streak with a pair of
Montreal, which leads the Northeast Division with 23 points, hasn't lost since
a 6-0 thumping at home to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 9 and will play two
straight at the Bell Centre, where it is a solid 7-3-0 this season.
The Canadiens will try to win six straight for the first time since March
6-16, 2010 and do so against a struggling Islanders club.
New York has dropped seven of its last nine overall and followed up a 7-0 loss
on home ice to Philadelphia on Monday with a 3-1 setback in Ottawa the
Evgeni Nabokov gave up all seven goals on 25 shots versus the Flyers, while
Rick DiPietro yielded three goals on 26 shots faced in the setback to the
Travis Hamonic scored the lone goal of the game for the Islanders, who lost
despite outshooting the Sens 38-26.
"At this point in a shortened season you need points and you need results,"
said DiPietro. "But I thought we played a really good game here tonight, and
if we keep playing like that we'll get the wins we need."
Thursday marks the first of three meetings this season between the Habs and
Islanders, who have won four of the previous six encounters.
Nabokov is likely to start this game for the Islanders and is 5-3-0 in his
career versus the Canadiens with a 2.84 goals against average.
Price is 4-1-2 lifetime versus the Isles with a 2.97 GAA.
02/21 10:35:23 ET
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