NHL Hockey: NY Islanders at Montreal Canadiens - Canadiens Favored

Team Page: New York :: Montreal

73% of Bets Placed on Canadiens -170 | Matchup | Goalies
For the second straight game, the Montreal Canadiens are facing a hot team in contention for a playoff spot.

They may want to keep their composure this time.

After a contest in which their aggressiveness proved costly, the Canadiens look to rebound when they host the New York Islanders on Saturday.

Oddsmakers have made Canadiens -170 money line (NHL Odds) favorites for todays game, the over/under has been set at 6.5 total

goals (View NHL Sports Books).

Montreal (28-18-6) lost 5-4 in a shootout at Pittsburgh on Thursday night, falling behind 3-1 while Sheldon Souray was serving a seven-minute penalty.

Souray was also ejected for the incident, when he jumped on Colby Armstrong, punched him several times and slammed him to the ice after Armstrong leveled Saku Koivu behind the Montreal net.

It ended up costing the Canadiens - who are tied for fourth place in the Eastern Conference - against a Penguins team that won its fifth straight to move into a three-way tie for sixth in the East.

"We have to concentrate on our next game," Souray told The Gazette's Web site after the loss.

Montreal now faces New York (24-21-6), which has tied a season high by earning a point in five straight games (3-0-2) and is four points behind the final playoff spot in the conference.

The Canadiens, though, have won four straight at the Bell Centre against the Islanders, including two shutouts, since a 6-3 loss on March 20, 2003. Montreal has won eight of its last nine home games against New York.

The Canadiens also beat the Islanders 4-2 on the road Dec. 7 behind Koivu's two goals and an assist. He has three goals and nine points in his last five games against New York.

Islanders captain Alexei Yashin, who missed that December matchup against the Canadiens with a sprained right knee, may sit out his second straight contest Saturday as the same knee continues to give him problems. Yashin didn't play in Thursday night's 5-2 win over Atlanta because of tendinitis.

Yashin has struggled since spraining his knee on Nov. 25 against Washington. He returned from an eight-game absence following the injury and scored in back-to-back wins, but has just one goal in his last 18 contests.

Islanders coach Ted Nolan used Randy Robitaille in Yashin's place on New York's top line Thursday. Jeff Tambellini had three assists after being recalled from AHL Bridgeport to replace Robitaille on the second line.

Yashin, still the team leader with 25 assists, had a strong start this season with 12 goals and 34 points in his first 27 games.

Nolan also rested No. 1 goaltender Rick DiPietro, who has a 3.82 goals-against average in his last four games. DiPietro is 2-5-0 with a 2.55 GAA in eight games against Montreal.

"Missing the people we were, it was a good win for us," Nolan said.

Jason Blake scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period and Miroslav Satan had a goal and two assists to lead New York. It was Blake's fourth goal in five games and his team-leading 27th, one shy of his career high set last season.

by: Gary Roberts - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NHL Hockey coverage from theSpread.com

 - NHL Hockey news wire
 - NHL top stories
 - Current NHL injuries
 - NHL Hockey schedule
 - NHL Hockey standings
 - NHL goalie stats
 - NHL Hockey scoreboard
 - NHL Hockey odds
 - NHL public betting charts
 - Expert NHL Picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NHL Home

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Penguins vs. Capitals Game 1 Pick Will the Washington Capitalsavoid another slow start to a series when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins...
Thumbnail Rangers vs. Senators Game 1 Pick Will the Ottawa Senators open their Eastern Conference semifinal with a win when they host the New York Rangers in Game 1 tonight at...
Thumbnail Oilers vs. Ducks Game 1 Pick Will the Anaheim Ducksstay perfect in the NHL Playoffswhen they host the Edmonton Oilers...
Thumbnail Wild vs. Blues Game 1 Pick The second round of the NHL Playoffs begin today when the St. Louis Blues host the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of their series...
Thumbnail Updated Stanley Cup Odds The Stanley Cup Playoffs are down to their final eight teams. Here is an updated look at the odds to claim the Cup as we enter the...

NHL Headlines

NHL Team Pages