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Canadiens @ Islanders: Game thread, rosters, lines, and how to watch

Montreal would be perfectly happy to run New York’s losing streak to four games.

Montreal Canadiens v New York Islanders Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images

Montreal Canadiens @ New York Islanders

How to watch

Start time: 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
In the Canadiens region: TSN2, TSN Direct (English), RDS, RDS Direct (French)
In the Islanders region: MSG+
Streaming: NHL.tv/NHL Live

Since John Tavares left to join the Toronto Maple Leafs, the New York Islanders have taken on more of a defensive identity. With the 2009 first overall pick in the lineup they’d often try to win games by scoring four or five goals rather than limiting what the other team was doing. Now, their focus is primarily on the defensive side; a team that defaults to a blocking position waiting for an opening rather than trading haymakers with the opponent.

The shift has affected the production of some of the teams top players. Anders Lee, who had a 40-goal season in 2017-18, didn’t hit 30 last year, and it’s unlikely he will this year either. Mathew Barzal burst onto the scene in that same 2017-18 season with 85 points in 82 games. He’s a bit closer to the point-per-game mark than he was a year ago, but it’s looking like he’ll top out at around 70 or so this year.

Despite the overall drop in offensive output, the Islanders are right in the mix for a playoff spot. They have more than compensated for the lack of goals they score with a defence that ranks sixth-best in the league.

The Canadiens weren’t intimidated by the Islanders’ style in the first game of the year. Their own identity is of a team that gets to the net for rebounds, so they simply dove within the collapsing structure in the first game this season, and found good success doing so. That strategy could prove effective again tonight.

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Tomas Tatar Phillip Danault Brendan Gallagher
Artturi Lehkonen Nick Suzuki Joel Armia
Paul Byron Max Domi Jordan Weal
Charles Hudon Jake Evans Dale Weise

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Ben Chiarot Shea Weber
Brett Kulak Jeff Petry
Xavier Ouellet Christian Folin

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Carey Price
Charlie Lindgren

New York Islanders projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Anders Lee Mathew Barzal Jordan Eberle
Anthony Beauvillier Brock Nelson Leo Komarov
Michael Dal Colle Jean-Gabriel Pageau Josh Bailey
Matt Martin Derick Brassard Cal Clutterbuck

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Andy Greene Ryan Pulock
Devon Toews Scott Mayfield
Nick Leddy Johnny Boychuk

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Thomas Greiss
Semyon Varlamov