Game Preview: Islanders Against the Canadiens

The Islanders head into Montreal to continue to play out the string of this disappointing season as the Canadiens have everything in the world to play for.  Translation, the guys in white could be in for an ugly night.

Puck drop is set for 7:30pm EST at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec and it can be seen on MSG+ and heard on WRHU88.7FM/WRCN103.9FM throughout the tri-state area.  Evgeni Nabokov and Carey Price get the start for their respective squad in net.

The Canadiens come into the game already in the postseason and knowing their opponent in the first round will be the Tampa Bay Lightning, but they are trying to lock up home ice advantage against their division foes.  Montreal currently holds a 3 point lead with 2 games remaining coming into tonight, but the Lightning do have a game in hand.

Former Islander Thomas Vanek, has no ill will against the Islanders organization, but may have a little more motivation in this game after getting a beating from the Islander fan base around the trade deadline a month ago.  Vanek has started to come alive as of late collecting 9 points in his last 6 games, for a total of 15 points in 15 games for the Canadiens. 

For the Islanders, the story of the season continued on Saturday as Cal Clutterbuck joined the likes of John Tavares, Kyle Okposo, Michael Grabner, Lubomir Visnovsky, etc on the injury list, after leaving the game with an upper body injury.  Coach Jack Capuano announced at today’s morning skate that none of the currently injured players will return this season because “the standings won’t change.”

The Islanders have played well on the road recently but are only in their last 10 while Montreal is .  New York is 0-1-1 in their first 2 meetings with the Canadiens, but look to upset them tonight in their final meeting of the season.

Islanders 3 Keys to the Game:

  1. Control the physical play.  The Canadiens are skilled, but can be thrown off of their game if hit often throughout the game.
  2. Shut down the top line. Vanek-Pacioretty-Desharnais have been on fire lately and could burn the young Isles defensemen.
  3. Let the young kids play their game.  With nothing to lose you must see the potential the young players have.

Projected Lineup (According to Dailyfaceoff.com):

27 Lee-51 Nielsen(A)-12 Bailey

56 Persson-29 Nelson-18 Strome

17 Martin-53 Cizikas-13 McDonald

59 Gallant-28 Sundstrom -43 Halmo

14 Hickey-3 Hamonic(A)

24 Czuczman-42 Mayfield

46 Donovan-7 Carkner

20 Nabokov

45 Nilsson

 

-Chad DeCarlo

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