NY Islanders at Montreal
When: 7:30 PM ET, Thursday, February 23, 2017
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
The New York Islanders venture into Canada for the third time this month on Thursday as they make the second stop on their franchise-record nine-game road trip with a visit to the Montreal Canadiens. New York came up empty in its previous two trips to Canadian cities Ottawa and Toronto, but improved to 11-4-2 under interim coach Doug Weight with a 3-1 victory over Detroit on Tuesday.
"We know that we've got to climb the ladder during this trip, and we also need to put some space between us and the teams behind us," said captain John Tavares, who ended an eight-game goal drought by scoring in back-to-back contests to join Anders Lee with a team-leading 22 tallies. The 26-year-old Tavares has ravaged Montreal this season with a goal in a 3-2 loss on Oct. 26 and a pair of assists in a 3-1 victory over the Canadiens on Jan. 26. Defenseman Shea Weber has done his best to torment the Islanders with a goal and an assist in the first meeting before netting his team's lone tally in last month's encounter. Weber had been held off the scoresheet in seven of the last eight games before helping Claude Julien collect his first win during his second stint with the Canadiens by recording a goal and an assist in a 3-2 shootout victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday.TV:
7:30 p.m. ET, MSG-Plus (New York), Sportsnet East, RDS (Montreal), NHL.TVABOUT THE ISLANDERS (28-21-10):
New York's latest victory proved costly as Newsday reported that fourth-liner Casey Cizikas is expected to miss four weeks with an upper-body injury while fellow forward Cal Clutterbuck aggravated a lower-body ailment, leaving his availability for Thursday's game in doubt. Veteran Bracken Kearns was an emergency recall from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League on the heels of Shane Prince (upper body) being placed on injured reserve Wednesday. The 35-year-old Kearns, who could make his season debut with the Islanders on Thursday, leads the Sound Tigers with 40 points (18 goals, 22 assists) in 51 games in 2016-17.ABOUT THE CANADIENS (32-20-8):
Carey Price answered three consecutive four-goal outings by yielding just two tallies while splitting his last two contests, highlighted by a spectacular diving stop in overtime against the Rangers that likely will garner save of the year consideration. Price's 258th win tied Ken Dryden for third place in franchise history, and although the former Hart and Vezina Trophy winner has a ways to catch Jacques Plante (314) and Patrick Roy (289), he'll likely receive no argument from the Islanders on his ability. Price owns an impressive 11-4-3 mark with one shutout and a .914 save percentage versus the club.OVERTIME
1. Julien will coach his 1,000th NHL game on Thursday.
2. New York G Islanders G Thomas Greiss has allowed two goals or fewer in 16 of his last 22 games.
3. Montreal captain Max Pacioretty set up a tally in back-to-back contests to increase his point total to eight (three goals, five assists) in his last five outings.PREDICTION:
Canadiens 3, Islanders 2
Stats and Records