Game Preview: NY Islanders vs Montreal Canadiens

New York Islanders v Montreal Canadiens
New York Islanders v Montreal Canadiens / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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01/14/2023. 22-18-3. Islanders -240 | Canadiens +200. 17-22-3. 152. MSGSN. 106. 7:00 PM EST

The NY Islanders are looking to snap a four game winless streak when they host the Montreal Canadiens at UBS Arena.

Last Game

The Islanders and Wild, both coming off shootout losses in their most previous contest, had the intention of bouncing back with a win on Thursday. The Isles led 1-0 for most of the night, with the only goal in the first 50 minutes of the game coming off the stick of Scott Mayfield late in the opening frame. However, the final ten minutes saw Minnesota take control, scoring two goals in a minute and a half stretch to grab the lead. New York was never able to respond and get the equalizer before Kirill Kaprizov netted an empty netter with 1:12 to go, clinching a 3-1 Wild win. 

After being shutout against the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday, the Canadiens finished their four game home stand on a high note, knocking off the Nashville Predators 4-3 on Thursday. The Habs got first period goals from Jake Evans and Kirby Dach to take a 2-1 lead into the dressing room. The Preds quickly responded with a Filip Forsberg goal just 12 seconds into the second to tie the game at two but Montreal’s leading goal scorer, Cole Caufield, took over from there, scoring goals 24 and 25 on the season to put the Canadiens ahead for good. Goaltender Sam Montembeault faced a heavy amount of shots (42 to be exact) but stopped 39 of them to help lead his team to a 2-2-0 home stand. 

Historical Matchup

These two teams met a total of three times last season, twice north of the border sandwiched by a date at UBS Arena. It was all three road teams who came away victorious. Despite losing the only meeting on Long Island, the Isles came away with points in all three games, finishing the year 2-0-1 against the Canadiens. 

All-time, the Islanders are 64-91-15-4 against the Canadiens. There have been four meetings in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with all four coming in the Conference Finals round. Montreal won in 1975-76, 1976-77, and 1992-93, while the Islanders picked up their only series win over the Habs in 1983-84. 

Player to Watch

In the first Islanders-Canadiens clash last season, it was Brock Nelson who stole the show with a four goal game. Montreal had no answer for Brock all season long as the 2022-23 NHL All-Star notched seven points in the three games. Nelson has 18 points in 23 career games against the Canadiens. 

Caufield tends to be the center of attention for all opposing defenses and it’s tough to blame them. With that being said, Nick Suzuki is quietly on pace to have a career best 70 point season. The 23 year old leads Montreal in both assists and points this season and will look to stay hot against a reeling Islanders team. 

Projected Lines

Islanders

Anders Lee-Mathew Barzal-Simon Holmstrom
Anthony Beauvillier-Brock Nelson-Josh Bailey
Zach Parise-JG Pageau-Hudson Fasching
Matt Martin- Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck

Alexander Romanov-Noah Dobson
Sebastian Aho-Scott Mayfield
Parker Wotherspoon- Ryan Pulock

Ilya Sorokin
Semyon Varlmov

Canadiens

Cole Caufield-Nick Suzuki-Kirby Dach
Evgenii Dadonov-Jake Evans-Joel Armia
Juraj Slafkovsky-Christian Dvorak-Josh Anderson
Justin Barron-Jonathan Drouin-Jesse Ylonen

Joel Edmundson-David Savard
Jordan Harris-Johnathan Kovacevic
Arber Xhekaj-Chris Wideman

Cayden Primeau
Sam Montembeault

*Lineups via DailyFaceoff

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