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Game #31 ~ Islanders @ Canadiens. Tuesday, December 13th, 2011.


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Habs hope to get off schneid at home as Isles visit

ISLANDERS (9-12-6) at CANADIENS (12-11-7)

Last 10: New York 4-3-3, Montreal 3-3-4

Season series: This will be the second of four meetings this season. The Islanders scored a 4-3 victory on Nov. 17 in Uniondale, N.Y., when goalie Rick DiPietro stopped 24 of 27 shots in relief of injured starter Evgeni Nabokov. Matt Moulson's goal 18:15 into the second held up as the winner. Montreal is 12-2-4 in its last 18 meetings with New York, but the Islanders have won the last three.

Big story: Both clubs are just looking to keep pace with the rest of the conference in an attempt to qualify for the playoffs. The Canadiens are 2-2-4 in their last eight games and stand ninth in the East with 31 points. Montreal is surprisingly having greater success on the road (8-6-1) than at home (4-5-6), where it has lost their last four contests. The Islanders are 4-1-2 in their last seven and are 14th in the East with 24 points. New York is 3-5-3 away from Nassau Coliseum in 2011-12.

Team Scope:

Islanders: The Islanders suffered a 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday -- their first loss in regulation since Nov. 25. David Ullstrom and Milan Jurcina scored to give the Isles a 2-0 lead less than 13 minutes into the game, but the Penguins would score four of the next five goals. According to Newsday, forward Nino Niederreiter is improving after suffering a concussion on Dec. 3 following an illegal hit by Dallas' Mark Fistric. Niederreiter, who skated for the second straight day on Saturday, may be assigned to a conditioning stint with the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Bridgeport when he's ready for game action. Fistric was suspended three games for the hit.

"I had a little memory loss, and it was a pretty heavy hit," Niederreiter said. "I expected it to be a little worse than it has, to be honest. I feel very good right now."

Canadiens: Defenseman Tomas Kaberle made a nice impression the day after he was acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for defenseman Jaroslav Spacek. Kaberle notched two assists, including one on the power-play, in a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Saturday. Kaberle will no doubt be looked upon to quarterback the club's power play, which has missed the injured Andrei Markov (knee surgery). Kaberle's assist on Max Pacioretty's power-play goal 1:07 into the second period snapped a 0-for-40 skid with the man advantage for the Canadiens.

Who's hot: Islanders left wing Matt Moulson has 8 goals and 11 points in his last seven games -- he leads the team with 14 goals, including 3 game-winners, in 2011-12.

Injury report: The Islanders are without Niederreiter (concussion), DiPietro (groin), Nabokov (groin), Jay Pandolfo (broken foot), Andrew McDonald (right leg) and Mark Eaton (knee). … The Canadiens will be without captain Brian Gionta (lower body). Defenseman Chris Campoli (hamstring) has been cleared and could be in the lineup.

Stat pack: Montreal rookie defensemen Raphael Diaz and Alexei Emelin are among the top five in blocked shots for first-year players this season -- Diaz is first with 60 blocks and Emelin is fifth with 36. Meanwhile, Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges ranks third in the league with 78 blocks and Hal Gill is 10th with 67. … Islanders left wing Matt Martin leads the NHL with 121 hits.

Puck drop: Canadiens goalie Carey Price, who stopped a penalty shot by New Jersey's Zach Parise in the final minute of regulation to secure Saturday's victory, told reporters after the game he had a good idea what the Devils captain was going to do. Parise entered the game 6-for-7 (85.7 percent) in shootouts.

"I've watched tape of him in that situation and when he went to the backhand I was ready," Price said.

Player Stats


Team Stats




go Habs go!

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We'll lose, ideally in OT/SO.

Now cut that out.

:lol: always consistently on the ball

Great....super & fantastic GDT clues.

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Players are on the ice (* Monday morning ) for a 10:30 practice that should be lively, after a day off.

Chris Campoli was wearing a cleared-for-contact white jersey.

And Tomas Kaberle is among the first guys out.

Therapy day for Travis Moen.

Scott Gomez is out in a no-contact burgundy jersey.

It’s his first practice.

Spirited skating drill to start.

The lines:

Pacioretty-DD-Cole, Darche-Eller-Leblanc, Kostitsyn-Plekanec-Cammy, Gomez-Weber-Nokelainen

D pairings: Gill-Diaz, Gorges-Subban, Emelin-Kaberle, Campoli as an extra

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Would be nice to secure a big, decisive win at home tonight against the Isles!

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Looks like a winning GDT Clues :)

:lol: I haven't seen it in a long time, I like how kinot decorated.

Alley decorations are nice,,,,like you were told about your Grandmothers living room,,,,stay out of it. :P

Needless to say,,,I won't be making any comments about 3rd period meltdowns. :unsure:

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Have to say that I am puzzled by a few things here:

1. Not that I have anything against Campoli being reintegrated into the line-up, but why sit Emelin? Gill would have been my first choice. Gorges, Kaberle, and Subban are locks to stay in at this point, but Emelin only had an off-game last time out because he was asked to adjust to playing the right side after playing the left up until now. Yet Campoli is also going to be asked to play the right side, so that doesn't really solve that problem. And if this is to showcase Campoli for a trade, why not have him on the correct side?

2. The pairings are now Kaberle-Campoli, Gill-Diaz, Subban-Gorges. If anything, I'd think you'd want to avoid putting your two most offensive D men on the same pairing and I'd think you'd want Gorges to be the guy playing the right side given that he has the most experience and success there of all our lefties. I'd have rather seen Kaberle-Subban, Gill-Gorges, Campoli-Diaz or Kaberle-Gorges, Gill-Subban, Campoli-Diaz. Let the guy whose out of game shape play the 3rd pairing, not in the top 4 right off the bat.

3. Weber as a forward still? Yeah, that decision is fine if you plan to use him on the PP, but the PP line-up is now Kaberle-Subban and then Campoli-Diaz. So Weber is going to be relegated to 3-5 minutes of 4th line duty. In that case, why not dress Emelin as your 7th guy and have someone who can fill in at the point on the PK or in case another D man is hurt or not playing well? Double shift a forward on the offensively-pathetic 4th line and maybe you'll actually get something out of it.

Questionable at best, I'd say...

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