NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, November 17th (All times Eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (8-7-3) at New York Islanders (4-8-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens will try to continue their recent surge when they visit the struggling New York Islanders in tonight's battle at Nassau Coliseum.
Montreal has recorded a point in four straight games, going 3-0-1 during that stretch. Overall, the Canadiens have a 7-2-1 record since beginning the campaign on a 1-5-2 slump.
The Habs blanked the Hurricanes in their most recent outing, notching a 4-0 win Wednesday evening against visiting Carolina. Carey Price stopped all 25 shots he faced to post his first shutout of the season and he could get a rare rest tonight in favor of backup Peter Budaj.
Mike Cammalleri, Yannick Weber, Travis Moen and P.K. Subban all lit the lamp for the Canadiens.
"The young guys behind me did the job," Price said. "I think communication was the biggest help tonight. We made sure that everyone was talking and we made sure that everyone knew where everyone else was."
Price has started 16 of Montreal's 18 games this season, but Budaj could get the call tonight with the Habs playing on successive nights.
Montreal played without defensemen Jaroslav Spacek (upper body) and Hal Gill (flu) on Wednesday and both blueliners are questionable for tonight. Rookie forward Andreas Engqvist is also questionable for this evening's test with a lower body issue.
The Canadiens are 5-3-0 on the road this year and have won four of their last five away from Quebec.
Meanwhile, the Islanders have lost four straight games and have recorded just one victory over their last 11 trips to the ice. The 1-7-3 mark comes on the heels of a three-game winning streak from Oct. 10-15.
New York's last two setbacks came in regulation, including Tuesday's 4-2 loss to the rival Rangers. Brad Richards scored the game-winner with under five minutes to play in the third. The Islanders had tied the game at 2-2 on the power play early in the third before Richards put the Rangers up for good with 4:55 left in the game.
Frans Nielsen had a goal and an assist while Matt Moulson also lit the lamp for the Isles. Evgeni Nabokov allowed three goals on 29 shots in the loss.
"It's frustrating cause we know we could have won these games," said Islanders head coach Jack Capuano. "Tonight I thought we played great hockey, but we came up short."
The Islanders, who are playing the middle portion of a three-game homestand tonight, are 4-4-1 as the host this season. New York will complete the residency in Saturday's tilt against Boston.
The Canadiens and Isles split four meetings last year, but Montreal has taken six of nine overall in the series. The Habs have dropped two of their last three on Long Island, but still have six wins in their last eight trips to the Coliseum.
11/17 10:55:20 ET