Series (Game 3 of 4)

Montreal leads 3-1

Game 1: Thursday, October 22nd
Game 2: Monday, October 26th
Game 3: Saturday, December 19th
Game 4: Tuesday, April 6th

Canadiens 3

(16-18-3, 35 pts)

Islanders 0

(13-16-7, 33 pts)

Coverage: CBC

7:00 PM ET, December 19, 2009

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York

1 2 3 T
MTL 1 1 13
NYI 0 0 00

J. Halak (Canadiens - G): Saves: 40, Save Pct.: 1.000

A. Markov (Canadiens - D): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

M. Bergeron (Canadiens - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Canadiens-Islanders Preview


A five-game losing streak may be tough enough for the Montreal Canadiens, but dropping four of those games by one goal has them searching for a solution to their struggling offensive play. Facing the New York Islanders in the opener of a seven-game road trip might be one way to solve those woes.

The Canadiens will try to halt their slide by continuing their dominance of the Islanders on Saturday night.

Montreal (15-18-3) followed four one-goal losses with a season high-tying fifth straight defeat Thursday, 3-1 to Minnesota. The Canadiens haven't dropped six in a row since Feb. 6-17, 2007.

They've been held to three goals or fewer in each game of this slide after beating Ottawa 4-1 on Dec. 8. Montreal had been outshot in nine consecutive games prior to Thursday, when it had a 31-21 advantage.

"That was our goal, to go and put the puck at the net, and it just didn't go in for us," defenseman Hal Gill said. "It's a tough thing we're going through. We've been playing a lot better, we've been in games, we're just coming out on the wrong end of them and we've got to find something to make the difference. We've got to dig a little deeper and get some goals and find a way to capitalize on chances."

Michael Cammalleri, the team leader with 18 goals, has one during the skid after powering a three-game winning streak by scoring five times. The left wing has struggled on the road, notching four goals as the Canadiens have gone 6-9-1 heading into this season-high trip.

Cammalleri has three goals in four career games against the Islanders (13-15-7), and the Canadiens are 9-0-2 in the last 11 meetings. They've won four straight at Nassau Coliseum, scoring 17 goals.

The Islanders have alternated wins and losses over the last four games, falling 5-2 to the New York Rangers on Thursday to settle for a split in a home-and home series. They took the first matchup 2-1 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

"When you go out and play as well as we have for the last two games and you come out with a split, it's great, but at the same time it's frustrating because we know we played well enough to get four points instead of two," goaltender Dwayne Roloson said.

John Tavares is trying to shake his slump after getting held without a point for a third consecutive game Thursday. The rookie center is tied with left wing Matt Moulson with a team-high 15 goals and leads the Islanders with 27 points.

Tavares hasn't registered a point in two games against Montreal.