GAME DAY PREVIEW | Montreal Canadiens vs New York Islanders: Preview, TV, Start Time, Statistical Match-up, Projected Lines, Starting Goalies, Keys to Victory, Habs Tickets
A Look Back
The Leafs had their way with the Canadiens Saturday night peppering Sam Montembeault with 46 shots, lighting the lamp seven times. Jonathan Kovacevic netted the lone goal for the Habs but was nowhere near enough to take down their divisional rival on the road.
The Ontario native who was picked up off the waiver wire from Winnipeg early October has proved his worth. It’s evident that Kovacevic wants to play with the Canadiens as he was able to stabilize the back-end with an array of rookies in a difficult season. The 25-year-old will want to close out the season on a strong note to brand his name with the club.
Suzuki had been held pointless in five games but in the last two games has found three points (1G-2A). Although this season is coming to an end, he can shoot to add to his record high season which currently sits at 64 points, three more than his previous 61.
The Finnish winger missed half the season due to injury and struggled to produce at the start of the season, but after his hat-trick April 6th, you could see the confidence glimmering. Although he was held pointless in Toronto, he’ll be looking to find some production in the remaining two games.
Keys to Victory
There is no reason a goaltender should face more than 40 shots in a game. It’s up to the defence to shut down the opposition and block shots while the offense provides back-checking support.
The team needs to find a way to remain confident throughout the full match, shutting down and letting the Islanders skate around them will make for a long, drawn out match and with two games remaining, should put it all out on the ice surface.
Move the puck
The Habs gave up 14 turnovers against the Leafs. They need to slow the play, focus, and make smart passes on the break-out and throughout the neutral zone. The Islanders will be attacking every puck with intention so the Canadiens need to display their best hockey.
Statistical Matchup for Game 81
UBS Arena, Elmont, NY | April 12, 7:00 PM ET | TV: SN1, RDS, ESPN+, MSGSN
“I’m going to stay on a plan to be myself. I’m going to play my game like I did with the Rocket. I’m good at forechecking, I keep things simple, I think it brings efficiency to my game.”
Projected Forwards, Defense and Goaltenders (subject to change)
Lee – Horvat – Bailey
Engvall – Nelson – Palmieri
Parise – Pageau – Fasching
Martin – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
Record: 16-17-3 GAA: 3.36 Sv%: .904 SO: 0 Alternate: Jake Allen
The Islanders hold the last remaining wild card spot with the Penguins in the rear view mirror. Both teams have a single match left this season so New York will be laying their absolute best effort on the ice, it’s expected to be a matchup with lots of heart, explosive hits, and loads of offense.
The Canadiens have nothing to lose with two games remaining, they could however, break the hearts of thousands of loud fans in the UBS arena, taking away a much-needed two points.