Habs shooting for revenge against Islanders
The Canadiens' Max Pacioretty (left) and the Islanders' John Tavares go head-to-head in Long Island Thursday. (CP file photos).
Published Thursday, March 21, 2013 11:24AM EDT
The Montreal Canadiens (19-5-5) roll into Uniondale N.Y. Thursday to tangle against the 10th-place Islanders (13-13-3), a team that has been Kryptonite to the Habs’ otherwise Superman-like season.
The Islanders trounced the Habs 6-3 on their last visit to Long Island on March 5, giving them one of their mere five home wins in 16 games.
The Islanders, with help from Thomas Hickey’s only goal this season, also beat the Canadiens 4-3 in overtime in Montreal on February 21.
The Islanders’ offence has been sparked by a top line of Matt Moulson, John Tavares and Brad Boyes, who have some old-timers recalling the glory days of Bossy-Trottier-Gilles.
Tavares, one of the few high draft choices that the team did not trade away over the years, has 17 goals and 14 assists, to lead the team with 31 points in 29 games.
Moulson is also topping a point-per-game clip with 30 points in 29 games, while Boyes has 25 points in 29 games.
The line has helped the Islanders rise to fifth in team scoring team in the Eastern Conference, while the Habs are ranked third.
The Islanders have struggled on defence, however, ranking 29th of 30 in the entire league.
The Islanders now sit in 10th place with 29 points in 29 games, three points behind the Rangers and Hurricanes for the eighth and final playoff spot.
Expect both teams to be ornery as they battle to get back into the win column.
The Sabres ended the Habs’ five-game winning streak by beating the Canadiens 3-2 in overtime Tuesday.
The Islanders, who have won five of their last eight, lost 5-3 in Ottawa Tuesday.
Carey Price will tend nets for the Canadiens, while Evegeni Nabokov, who has started 25 of the Islander’s 29 games, gets the nod for the Islanders.
The Islanders are last in the league in attendance and attracted an announced attendance of 9,498 for the Canadiens’ last visit.
But more might be showing up now the team is thinking more of a playoff spot than a high draft pick.