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Islanders Come to Montreal to Battle Habs For 15th

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UNIONDALE, NY - FEBRUARY 09:  Mark Streit #2 of the New York Islanders defedns a shot attempt against Tomas Plekanec #14 of the Montreal Canadiens on February 9, 2012 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NY - FEBRUARY 09: Mark Streit #2 of the New York Islanders defedns a shot attempt against Tomas Plekanec #14 of the Montreal Canadiens on February 9, 2012 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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The coveted 15th place spot in the Eastern Conference is up for grabs tonight as the New York Islanders come to Montreal to face the now streaking Canadiens. Yes folks, the Canadiens are on a hot streak of sorts, or as much of a one as can be imagined for a lottery team. The team is 3-0-2 in it's last 5 games, taking 8 of a possible 10 points.

This Islanders meanwhile have seemingly hit a wall, going 2-5-3 in their past 10 games and lost 5 straight, plummeting them to 15th in the conference. Their record now matches their goal differential, which is a conference worst -48. If the Canadiens win tonight it may all but assure that the Isles "win" the 3rd pick in the draft lottery as tonight is the first game of a 5 game road trip that could bury the team.

It's been a high scoring season series between these two teams, with Montreal winning the last two games by a combined score of 9-5. Max Pacioretty has done the most scoring with 4 goals and an assist in 3 games.

Odd Fact: Six of the nine Habs players to score against the Islanders this season are either injured or no longer with the team.

Carey Price is 2-0-0 with a .923 SVP and 2.50 GAA against the Islanders this season but Peter Budaj is likely to get the start after Price played in Ottawa last night.

Judging by the offensive effort, or lack there of, the team should be fresh tonight, but after playing 15:27 shorthanded last night, many Habs are likely exhausted.

MONTREAL CANADIENS PROJECTED LINEUP

Forwards

Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Erik Cole

Rene Bourque - Tomas Plekanec - Ryan White

Mike Blunden - Lars Eller - Louis Leblanc

Blake Geoffrion - Petteri Nokelainen - Brad Staubitz

Defensemen

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban

Andrei Markov - Alexei Emelin

Chris Campoli - Yannick Weber

Goalies

Peter Budaj - Carey Price

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NEW YORK ISLANDERS PROJECTED LINEUP

Forwards

Matt Moulson - John Tavares - Kyle Okposo

Josh Bailey - Frans Nielsen - P.A. Parenteau

Michael Grabner - Casey Cizikas - David Ullstrom

Nino Niederreiter - Marty Reasoner - Matt Martin

Defensemen

Mark Streit - Dylan Reese

Andrew MacDonald - Travis Hamonic

Milan Jurcina - Mark Eaton

Goalies

Al Montoya - Evgeni Nabokov

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