New York Islanders at Montreal Canadiens, 7:30pm ET
Montreal, QC — Bell Centre — MSG+2
The Islanders head to Montreal tonight to play the Canadiens, who are tops in the Eastern Conference at the moment. The Habs are on a tear right now, winning five in a row and seven of their last ten.
On offense, they’re led by a couple of new faces. Undrafted 27-year old defender Raphael Diaz has a team high 11 helpers, most of which have been coming on the powerplay. Rookie Alex Galchenyuk (3rd overall in 2012) has ten points in 16 games, bypassing the five-game tryout and sticking with the Habs this season. Veteran winger Tomas Plekanec is still with the Habs and playing some of his best hockey, with 13 points in 16 games so far.
The Canadiens are really getting contributions from a lot of players. Sixteen different Habs have scored this year, six different players have more than nine points, and nine have more than seven points. In net is Carey Price, who has played very well with a 1.96 GAA and .925 save percentage.
For the Islanders, it’s going to be a tough battle for a team that can’t seem to score or get decent goaltending, having been outscored 10-1 in their last two games. For some reason there won’t be any changes to the lineup, so David Ullstrom will again be in the press box instead of someone more deserving or in need of receiving a message (Kyle Okposo?). Evgeni Nabokov will be back in goal. Lines will look like this:
Moulson – Tavares – Boyes
Bailey – Nielsen – Aucoin
Grabner – Reasoner – Okposo
Martin – Cizikas – McDonald
MacDonald – Hamonic
Visnovsky – Hickey
Streit – Finley
Ullstrom, Boulton, Martinek