Canadiens at Islanders - Game Preview
The Islanders and Habs face off for the second time this season after the Islanders upset the Habs with a comeback win in Montreal just under two weeks ago.
Since the Montreal Canadiens lost to the Isles on the 21st of February, they've gone 3-0-2, their unbeaten in regulation streak now stretches to 11 games, going 8-0-3 over that time.
The New York Islanders on the other hand, have gone 2-2-1 since they beat the Canadiens, even though their even strength performance in the last 10 games have seen a marked increase in comparison to the previous ten.
Carey Price will be back in the net today for the Canadiens after Peter Budaj miraculously beat the Boston Bruins on Sunday. Hopefully Price has corrected the issues he was having against Pittsburgh on Saturday evening. Price has a 4-1-3 record against the Islanders, but just a .891 save percentage.
The most dangerous Hab on the ice against the Islanders last game was Max Pacioretty, who's on the same points per game pace as John Tavares, believe it or not. The NHL's first star of the week has 14 points in his last 9 games, including 8 goals.
Habs killer Matt Moulson will be the player to watch for the Islanders, who seems to always be open for feeds from Tavares or former Hab Mark Streit.
The biggest changes to the lineup from the last game against the Islanders are that Rene Bourque, Erik Cole, and Raphael Diaz are all out, while Brendan Gallagher, Michael Ryder, and Tomas Kaberle all draw in.
Gallagher has been flat out brilliant on a line with Pacioretty and David Desharnais, he was the best Canadien on the ice against Boston on Sunday.
Kaberle can't play the tough minutes that Diaz can, but he's been impressively solid in sheltered minutes, with 2 assists and a +4 rating since drawing back into the lineup.
Ryder has drawn a lot of criticism from fans, but I don't think I see what they're seeing as far as him being terrible. He certainly hasn't been a revelation, but he's been okay and has been getting chances. It's also a little tougher for him to produce playing tough minutes with Tomas Plekanec than it would be with Lars Eller. We'll see how Ryder plays tonight.
For the preview from the other side, please check out the fantastic Lighthouse Hockey.
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