Having put a putrid 2013-14 home record in the books, the road agnostic (18-18-2) New York Islanders take their selective samples out on the road to finish the season, with increasingly meaningless stops in Montreal, New Jersey and Buffalo.
Technically, tonight has some relevance to the Canadiens, as a win strengthens their bid for home ice advantage in their first-round playoff matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Also, it marks a tearful reunion for Thomas Vanek, for the first time facing the team with whom he spent approximately one-sixteenth of his career. Granted, 16 games later he would recognize half of this Islanders lineup.
Islanders (31-37-11, 8th/Metro) @ Canadiens (45-27-8, 2nd/New Atlantic)
7:30 p.m. EDT | MSG+2 (twice the plus!) | WRHU/WRCN
[beer or telecom or other] Centre
High on Habbery: Eyes on the Prize
Yes, for the Islanders, it's another game with the Band of Rookies, as they added yet another entry to their Injury Of The Day Club when Cal Clutterbuck left the last game injured.
That means Johan Sundstrom again gets a recall, leaving your rookie assortment like so:
Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome, Anders Lee, John Persson, Sundstrom, Mike Halmo, Brett Gallant, Matt Donovan, Kevin Czuczman and Scott Mayfield.
Evgeni Nabokov gets the start, so Anders Nilsson's rookie-ness should not be needed on this night.
In the morning skate business, Jack Capuano confirmed that none of the injured Islanders will return in the final three games of the season, so we are in full "Derek Bell Memorial" Operation: Shutdown mode.
However, something to alarm some of our regulars:
Josh Bailey is one point shy of setting a new career high. Bailey has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his last six games and 35 points (eight goals, 27 assists) this season.
It's gotta be the chains.