Montreal Canadiens (19-11-3) at New York Islanders (9-19-5)
|Date & Time||Saturday December 14, 2013, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: New York Islanders +114 / Montreal Canadiens -126 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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With their long losing streak finally snapped the New York Islanders decided to get back to their losing ways on Thursday night in Phoenix against the Coyotes. Eric Boulton's second goal of the season gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead but it would last for a little more than a minute until the Coyotes tied things up. In the second period there were six goals scored with Phoeni accouting for four of them. The Islanders got back-to-back goals from John Tavares and Kyle Okposo to cut the Coyotes lead to 4-3 but the Coyotes would add another in the 5-3 win. Kevin Poulin dropped to 4-12-0 on the year .892 save percentage ranks 42nd in the league, the same place his 3.25 goals against average ranks. Poulin doesn't get much support in front of him but posting those kind of numbers in the NHL isn't going to cut it. Now the Islanders return home from their lengthy road trip and New York has to face the challenge of playing that first game back on home ice after a long time away. Montreal comes to town having lost two in a row after their five game winning streak. The Canadiens were shutout at home by the Los Angeles Kings 6-0 and followed that up with a 2-1 loss to the Flyers in Philadelphia. The Canadiens managed just 21 shots total on Steve Mason and didn't beat him until Alex Galchenyuk's ninth goal of the season with under a minute to play in regulation. Montreal hasn't been filling the net with goals so it's not a surprise to see them struggle a bit here the last few games. The Canadiens shouldn't have any trouble generating chances against an Islanders defense that is seemingly nonexistant. This is a tough match up to figure out on Saturday night but the Islanders struggles have just been so pronounced that it's hard to trust them in any way. If the Canadiens can play their game in this one they should be able to do enough to come out of the Nassau Coliseum with a victory.