The NY Islanders visit the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday afternoon in a rare 12:30 PM matinee.
The Islanders took on the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night in an emotional bout that featured Anthony Beauvillier as a member of the Canucks and Bo Horvat as a member of the Islanders playing against their former clubs for the first time. The Islanders took a 4-2 lead at the 15-minute mark of the second period on a goal by Horvat, the first goal in his career against the Canucks. The goal became the 32nd team that Horvat has scored against, meaning the Islander forward has now scored at least one goal against every team in the NHL. The Islanders took their foot off the gas, however, giving up a two-goal lead and eventually falling behind three goals at the hands of Elias Pettersson and Beauvillier who scored the eventual game-winner. A late goal by Noah Dobson with just under 50 seconds left in the frame and Ilya Sorokin on the bench wasn't enough and the Islanders fell short 6-5. Sorokin wasn't his sharpest making just 28 saves on 34 shots.
Players to Watch
It's hard not to watch the newly formed tandem of Horvat and Mathew Barzal, however, Brock Nelson has been on fire for the Islanders. Nelson is on a nine game point streak with five goals and 10 points in that span. In his career against the Canadiens, Nelson has accrued 12 goals and 18 points in 24 games.
The Canadiens have yet to play since the All-Star break and are coming off a 10-day rest period. Prior to the break, Kirby Dach has been finding the scoresheet with four points in his last five games. He's been revitalized since his trade from the Chicago Blackhawks to the Canadiens, and has developed into a dependable top-six center. Playing between Mike Hoffman and Evgenii Dadonov, the 22-year-old center is surrounded by players that know how to fill the net.
Honorable mention goes to Alexander Romanov who is returning to Montreal for the first time since being traded as a member of the Islanders.
Saturday afternoon's matchup is the second meeting between the Islanders and Canadiens. Last time out, the Canadiens visited the Islanders at UBS Arena on Long Island. First period goals by Casey Cizikas and Beauvillier were enough to propel the Islanders to a 2-1 victory on the back of Sorokin who made 22 saves on 23 shots. The Canadiens lone goal came in the third period on the stick of captain Nick Suzuki.