Game #55

Canadiens vs. NY Islanders

Nassau Coliseum – Feb. 9/2012 – 7:05pm


Game Notes –

……The Islanders are 3-0-1 in their last four games. The last similar streak was  4-0-2 from Nov. 26-Dec. 8.  The Islanders are also 6-1-2 in their last nine and 5-2-2 in their past nine home contests.

……Montreal has won back-to-back games after going 6-13-2 over its previous 21.  They have not won three straight since a four-game run Oct. 26-Nov. 4.  Following each of their most recent two-game win streaks, the Canadiens have dropped three or more in a row.

……The Canadiens are  2-7-1 in their last 10 road games.

…….Carey Price is 4-2-0 with a 1.82 GAA over his last six games.  Howevder, he  has allowed four goals in each of his two games in Long Island and is 3-1-2 with a 3.13 GAA in six career games against the Islanders.

……..Evgeni Nabokov is 5-2-0 with a 2.81 GAA in eight career starts against Montreal.  In November he was forced to leave eight minutesinto a 4-2 Islander win at Uniondale because of a groin injury.   Al Montoya was in goal when the Canadiens bat them 5-3 Dec. 13 at the Bell Centre

…..Nabokov is 6-1-0 with a 1.11 goals-against average over his last seven starts.

……Tomas Plekanec has a 10-game point streak against New York, and Erik Cole has scored in four straight games in cluding once as a member of Carolina..

……In the five games since the All-Star break Erik Cole has not scored a point and has managed a total of only five shots on goal.  In the five games prior to the break he had 2 goals and nine points.

…….The Islanders currently sit in 11th place in the East (nine points out of a playoff spot).  Because of games-in-hand, their playoff future looks brighter than that of the Canadiens.  They have four in hand over eighth place Ottawa.

…….The shootout win over the Penguins Tuesday was only their second in nine opportunities this season.

……Against Philadelphia Tuesday, Evgeni Nabokov made 20 of his 45 stops in the third period and  overtime, then stopped both Flyer attempts in the shootout to complete his  second shutout of the season.  Final shots on goal were 45-18.

…….After ending a stretch of 13 consecutive road losses to the Flyers  last month, the Islanders made it two  straight wins in Philadelphia  for the first time since 2007.

…..Islanders centre Frans  Nielsen is 20-for-34 in career shootout attempts (58.8 percent), the  highest success rate in NHL history among skaters with more than 12  shootout attempts. A four year contract extension for the Danish-born center  was announced just before Tuesday win in Philadelphia.

…..It is possible, with a win in regulation time, the Canadiens could jump from 14th to 11th place in the Eastern Conference.  The Islanders currently hold down 11th place, but they’re only a point ahead of the Canadiens in the standings.  Tampa Bay would have to co-operate by losing at Madison Square Garden Thursday night to make it possible.  They would still be eight points behind 8th place Ottawa but the Canadiens would still have a game in hand.

The Hard, Cold Stats

Season Records – Montreal (21-24-9)  14th in Eastern Conference; 5th in Northeast Division; 26th overall in NHL.    NY Islanders –  (22-22-8) 11th in Eastern Conference;  5th in Atlantic Division; ranked 23rd in the league.

Last Time OutCanadiens defeat Pittsburgh 3-2 in shootout Tuesday at the Bell Centre.    Islanders beat Flyers @ Philadelphia  1-0 in a shootout Tuesday.

Last Ten Games –  Montreal (5-4-1);      New York (6-2-2)

Season Series: Third  of four regular-season meetings. They split the first  two matchups.   Nov. 17 @ Nassau Coliseum – Islanders-4 Canadiens-3.    Islanders score three goals in the first half of the second period to take 3-0 lead.  Rick DiPietro replaces Nabokov in the first period.  Nabokov suffered a groin injury making a pad save on a Brian Gionta shot.  Parenteau, Pandolfo, Streit and Moulson scoored for the Islanders.   Pacioretty, Cole and Gionta for the Canadiens.  Peter Budaj in goal for Montreal.     Dec. 13 @ Bell Centre – Canadiens-5  Islanders-3.  Canadiens scoore three straight (Kostitsyn, Darche, Cole) after Islanders take a 1-0 lead.  Islanders come back to tie but Nokelelainen scores the winner at 13:45 of the third.  Hal Gill scored an empty net goal.  Moulson, Bailey and Taveres for the Islander.  Carey Price in goal against Al Montoya.

Home/Road – Canadiens on the Road (10-13-2)     Islanders at Home (11-11-5)

Vs. Eastern Conference Teams – Canadiens (17-19-5)    Islanders (16-17-4)

Special Teams – Power Play – Canadiens ranked 30th   12.3% (25/203)   Islanders ranked 7th – 19.4% (31/160)     Penalty Killing – Canadiens ranked first – 89.9% (21/107)     Islanders ranked 8th – 85.1% (23/154)

Goaltending – Canadiens – Carey Price – 46GP (19-19-8) 2.37GAA  .916save%       Islanders – Evgeny Nabokov – 26GP (12-12-0)   2.21GAA   .025save%

Who’s Hot  Canadiens –  Max Pacioretty three goals and two assists over his last six games.    Islanders – Evgeny Nabokov has won seven of his last nine outings, allowing one goal or  less in six of those decisions.

The Missing –   Canadiens – D-Andrei Markov (IR-athroscopic knee surgery);  RW-Brian Gionta (IR-bicep  surgery), C-Petteri Nokelainen (IR-upper body); Mike Blunden (IR-arthroscopic knee surgery);  D-Yannick Weber (left hamstring)        Islanders – D-Dylan Reese (MCL  sprain); D-Travis Hamonic (IR-broken nose/facial surgery); D-Milan Jurcina (lacerated elbow); C-Marty Reasoner (IR-broken thumb); D-Mike Mottau  (IR=concussion-like symptoms);  Rick DiPietro (IR-sports hernia surgery)