Montreal Canadiens (6-2-1) at New York Islanders (4-3-2) – Friday, October
In the second half of a home-and-home series, the Montreal Canadiens make the
trip to Long Island to face the New York Islanders. The Habs hosted the
Islanders this past Wednesday, winning 5-3 in a fast-paced game. Mathieu
Darche, Travis Moen, Tomas Plekanec, Jeff Halpern and Andrei Kostitsyn all
scored for Montreal, while Carey Price made 18 saves for the win. James
Wisniewski, John Tavares and Doug Weight replied for New York, with Dwayne
Roloson stopping 30 shots in the losing effort.
Carey Price (6-2-1, 2.32 GAA, .913 SV%) has earned the night off after starting each of Montreal
first nine games. In his stead will be Alex
Auld, who is making his Canadiens’ debut this evening. There are obviously
no stats to go on from this season, but historically, Auld is 1-3-1 against the
Islanders, with a 2.79 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. Dwayne
Roloson (2-2-0, 2.23 GAA, .925 SV%) is slated to get another start for New York,
with Rick DiPietro (2-1-2, 3.31 GAA, .882 SV%) watching from the bench.
Andrei Kostitsyn (6-4-10) has been a force to be reckoned with this season, and leads
all Canadiens in points and goals. His linemates, Tomas Plekanec (4-5-9) and Mike Cammalleri (3-3-6) round out the top scorers for Montreal, while perennial
leaders Scott Gomez (1-2-3) and Brian Gionta (1-1-2) continue to fire blanks. The
Islanders feature the early season’s top-scoring defenceman, James Wisniewski,
who tallied 3 points against the Habs on Wednesday. Wisniewski leads all
Islanders with 2 goals and 9 assists, and sits 3 points above John Tavares.
scoring 6 goals in 5 games since his return from injury, sits in a 5-way tie for
2nd in team scoring with 8 points.
The Islanders went 2 for 4 with the man advantage on Wednesday, demonstrating
how effective their third-ranked powerplay can be. Their 28.3% efficiency
is ridiculously superior to the Habs’ dismal 6.2% conversion rate, which is ranked
dead-last in the NHL. Both teams are about equal with a man short, as the
Habs (86.1%) fare only slightly better than the Islanders (85.7%) on the
penalty-kill. Both teams have scored one shorthanded goal, with Travis Moen
registering a shorty last game.
It is almost like Christmas Eve, with Andrei Markov slated to return to the
Montreal line-up tomorrow night. Markov has missed all the games this
season recovering from right knee surgery, and will hopefully breathe some life
into the Habs comatose powerplay. The Islanders will be without Mark
Streit, Kyle Okposo, Robbie Schremp and Michael Grabner.
Ryan O’Byrne and Dustin Boyd will serve as healthy scratches yet again.
Game-time is 7:00 EST and the game can be seen on RDS and TSN (ALT).
This preview was written by Matt