“Game of the Night” is a feature that takes a daily look at the best game on the NHL schedule, and sets it up for you. So y’know, you should probably watch the game below. This is brought to you by the Werner Ladder Company (check out their hockey vid here), because how else do you think the bulbs in the red goal light get changed?
Montreal Canadiens at New York Islanders
Montreal Canadiens: 19-5-5 (last 10: 7-1-2), 2nd in East, 43 points
New York Islanders: 13-13-3 (last 10: 5-3-2), 10th in East, 29 points
The Isles may be in 10th, but they’re only three points behind three teams who sit in 9th, 8th, and 7th. Two of those teams happen to be the Devils and Rangers. Also, I’m an Islanders fan. OH, one other thing: see below:
The Islanders have beat the Habs both times they’ve played this year. They can complete the sweep at home tonight.
Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. EST
Need to know:
* While the Islanders are in their own battles of sort, the Canadiens are only three points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for first in the Eastern Conference.
* The Habs haven’t lost in regulation since March 5th! …Against the Islanders, in Nassau Coliseum.
* Montreal has points in 9 of their last 10 games.
* The Isles have blown two goal leads in the third period in back-to-back games because they like when I have panic attacks.
* Matt Moulson has a single assist in five straight games.
Injuries (via NHL.com):
The Canadiens are expected to be missing defensemen Raphael Diaz (concussion) and defensemanYannick Weber (knee), left wing Rene Bourque (concussion) and left wing Brandon Prust (shoulder). … New York has been without forwards Michael Grabner (shoulder) and David Ullstrom (groin) and defensemen Matt Carkner (groin) and Brian Strait (ankle). Newsday’s Arthur Staple reported via Twitter on Wednesday that Grabner and Carkner could return to the lineup against the Habs.
Montreal: Carey Price (confirmed)
#habs Price in goal tomorrow
— Jessica Rusnak (@JessRusnak) March 20, 2013
From DailyFaceoff.com: Price allowed three goals on 18 shots vs. Buffalo. It was an unlikely loss as the Habs are second in the East and Buffalo is 13th.
Islanders: Kevin Poulin (confirmed)
Poulin will start tonight for the #Isles. Carkner and Grabner in, as well.
— NYIslanders (@NYIslanders) March 21, 2013
From DailyFaceoff.com: Poulin will start tonight for the #Isles. Poulin will make his second start of the season tonight vs. the Habs. Poulin is from Montreal so he will likely be ecstatic to start against the Canadiens
What I’m looking forward to:
Islanders superstar John Tavares continues to truck on this season, currently sitting at ninth in the NHL in points with 31 in 29 games. It’s amazing – no matter how many goals that team is down, no matter who they’re playing, he’s just got a motor that won’t quit. Also, seeing Poulin start against his hometown team will be pretty cool.
But in reality, the guys to watch are on Montreal, and they’re rookies. As much talent as the Habs have up front, Brendan Gallagher is the most fun to watch on the team, speaking of motors. He just looks annoying to play, and anytime he gets the puck in a danger zone, the danger seems to be ramped up one notch farther. Love that kid. Oh, yes, and Galchenyuk is great too.
The Islanders aren’t going to beat the Habs three times this season. No way. You just can’t go undefe…yes you can.
Some teams just match up well against others. The Islanders will win a close one tonight, OT or shootout style.
Game of the Night prediction record: