NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, October 23rd (All times eastern)
New York Islanders (3-1-1-0) at Montreal Canadiens (4-2-0-0), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New York Islanders try to push their unbeaten streak to five games tonight when they visit the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.
New York is 3-0-1 since opening the season with a 6-1 pounding at the hands of Washington. Mariusz Czerkawski scored twice to power the Islanders past the Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-2, at Nassau Coliseum Monday.
Jason Blake, Oleg Kvasha and Michael Peca also found the net for New York, while Garth Snow turned aside 24 shots to earn his first win of the season.
Czerkawski, after being released by the Canadiens club he'll face tonight, has enjoyed a resurgence in his return to Long Island. The Polish winger is tied for second in the NHL with five goals, and has matched his entire tally from last season with the Habs.
On the injury front tonight, Islander defenseman Adrian Aucoin is day-to-day with a groin strain but is expected to play.
New York will open a brief homestand Saturday against Pittsburgh.
Montreal, meanwhile, has won four of its last five games, including a 2-1 victory over Detroit on Monday. Steve Begin and Richard Zednik each posted goals and Mathieu Garon made 18 saves to lead the effort. The Canadiens have allowed one goal or less in each of the last five games.
Garon spelled regular starter Jose Theodore, who has so far been solid this season. Theodore, trying to bounce back from a sub-par campaign, is 3-2-0 with a 1.61 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in five contests.
Montreal captain Saku Koivu was expected to make his season debut tonight after suffering a knee sprain during exhibition play, but he will be held out of the lineup after feeling a twinge on Wednesday.
The Canadiens play the fifth portion of a six-game homestand tonight and will host Ottawa on Saturday.
New York went 3-1 against Montreal last season, winning the final three meetings. The home club has gone 7-1-1 in the last nine games between the clubs.
10/23 13:13:36 ET