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Islanders vs. Montreal Gameday: Two teams that don't score, don't shootout

Just pray for goals and don't pray for the breakaway drill. Tonight features two of the lowest scoring teams in the Eastern Conference, and the two biggest shootout losers in the league.

Nyi-yslim_medium Mon-slim_medium
Islanders (9-12-6, 14th/E) @ Hockey Club from Montreal (12-11-7, 10th/E)
7:30 p.m. EST | MSG+2 (
twice the plus!) | Audio: NHL - WRHU
Le [
part-owner of the Maple Leafs] Centre
Eyes on Martin:
Habs Eyes on the Prize

The New York Islanders are up to 2.3 goals per game -- quite a boost thanks to their recent scoring binge of 19 goals in five games which took them over the 2.0 threshold -- but still good for only last in the East and 28th in the league. The Hockey Club from Montreal offense isn't much better at 2.43 goals per game, just a fraction better than the New Jersey Devils and good for just 25th in the league. These two teams are also the NHL's two most frequent shootout extra time (OT and shootout) victims, with the Islanders 0-6 (0-2 in shootouts) and the team from Montreal 3-7 (1-5 in shootouts) in that post-game coin flip.

Are the Montreal hockey club's shootout woes due to a certain move on Carey Price? Eyes on the Prize investigates that one. We do our own navel-gazing after the jump.

Well, one more bit of Montreal-gazing first: For middling teams, the search for the proverbial "turning point" always carries on. We saw it ourselves last year during the Capuano Spring. We saw it this year during the "This November Isn't Quite Like Last November...Is It?" angst. And so it goes with Montreal after their win over the Devils, when they dodged the bullet known as the Zach Parise penalty shot with the game on the line. Eyes on the Prize also takes on that theory.

For the low-scoring Montreal inhabitants, the un-Markovian powerplay (just 11.8%) is a factor, as is a rather Islanders-like 29.7 shots per game. To address the former, they bit the bullet and welcomed the Contract Formerly Known as Tomas Kaberle, and of course he had two assists in his Hockey Club from Montreal debut.

Hockey Inside/Out, which was once known as Habs Inside/Out before the Hockey Club from Montreal asserted its God-given trademark rights, has a good collection of Montreal hockey-related stuff, including this story on Kaberle trade bait Jaro Spacek.

Islanders Lineup

For the Islanders, the lineup remains the same because the lineup has the same options. Al Montoya starts again, although his backup is now Evgeni Nabokov (off IR) instead of Kevin Poulin (returned to Bridgeport). Micheal Haley was likewise returned to Bridgeport, and with Nino Niederreiter still out due to post-concussion caution, there are no other lineup options for tonight.

The most interesting thing, as far as roster- or role-gazing, might be if Jack Capuano follows through on any changes to the powerplay after a 1-13 weekend.

Reading for When Not Reading about Assault Cases

FIG Picks

Leave your First Islanders Goal picks (with assists, and time and such) in this thread over here.