Carey Price missed nine games in all, and he's coming back at just the right time. The Habs went 5-2-2 in Price's absence, with Mike Condon making nine straight starts. Condon was excellent in his first six starts, going 4-1-1 and posting a .934 save percentage and 1.79 goals-against-average. But over the last three games, signs of fatigue have appeared, with Condon only winning one of three starts, and posting a .790 save percentage and 3.99 goals against average.
One thing Carey Price will look to immediately help with is holding the fort until his team gets its legs going. Mike Condon did this in his first few games in the starting role, making key saves at the beginning of games to allow the Canadiens to draw first blood. To ask a first year netminder to do this night after night is a tall task, as evident by the fact the Habs have allowed the first goal in their past five games, and in the past three have allowed their opponent to go up 3-0.
The Canadiens usually play very well against the Islanders, having won all three match-ups last year, each by two goals (6-4, 3-1, 3-1) and their most recent contest November 5 by a score of 4-1. The Islanders have been up and down over their past ten games, posting a 4-4-2 record, and will be trying to extend a two-game winning streak to three games tonight when they host the Habs for their first ever regular season game in Brooklyn.
The Islanders will be rested, not having played a game since a win Monday over the Arizona Coyotes. Jaroslav Halak will get his seventh start against his former team tonight, and is going for his fifth win against the Habs. In six starts against the Canadiens, Halak has a record of 4-2-0, a .919 save percentage, 2.19 goals-against average and one shutout.
Torrey Mitchell left last night's game with an injury, and did not make the trip to Brooklyn. No call-ups were made today by the Canadiens, meaning Alexander Semin will be back in the lineup.
The puck drops at 7:30 PM EST.
How To Watch:
In Canada (French): RDS
In Canada (English): SN-E
In the Coyotes' region: MSG+
Elsewhere: NHL GameCenter, NHL Center Ice
|Max Pacioretty||Tomas Plekanec||Brendan Gallagher|
|Lars Eller||Alex Galchenyuk||Alexander Semin|
|Tomas Fleischmann||David Desharnais||Dale Weise|
|Paul Byron||Brian Flynn||Devante Smith-Pelly|
|Andrei Markov||P.K. Subban|
|Nathan Beaulieu||Jeff Petry|
|Tom Gilbert||Greg Pateryn|
Scratched: Jarred Tinordi
Injuries: Torrey Mitchell (lower body), Alex Emelin (lower body), Michael Bournival (post-concussion syndrome)
|Brock Nelson||John Tavares||Kyle Okposo|
|Anders Lee||Frans Nielsen||Josh Bailey|
|Nikolai Kulemin||Mikhail Grabovski||Steve Bernier|
|Matt Martin||Casey Cizikas||Cal Clutterbuck|
|Nick Leddy||Travis Hamonic|
|Calvin De Haan||Johnny Boychuk|
|Brian Strait||Marek Zidlicky|
Scratched: Tyler Beck, Jean-Francois Berube, Adam Pelech
Injuries: Thomas Hickey (lower body), Eric Boulton (lower body)
Check out the enemy over at Lighthouse Hockey.