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Canadiens Pre Game

Canadiens Game 43: ’11-7′ Formation Remains, Sorokin On Fire

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Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens (17-22-3) get their busy weekend started against the New York Islanders (22-18-3) at the UBS Arena. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM ET.

The Canadiens got a much-needed boost of energy on Thursday night, as the organization successfully honoured the career of former defenceman P.K. Subban and witnessed the return of the Triple Low-Five with goaltender Carey Price.

It seemed that bit of nostalgia gave the Canadiens some wings in their game against the Predators, and they’ll look to carry that momentum into their back-to-back games this weekend in New York.

In the absence of Kaiden Guhle, the Canadiens have leaned heavily on Jordan Harris to compensate for those lost minutes and the 22-year-old has looked solid during that time. On Thursday night, Harris was head and shoulders above his peers, controlling almost 70% of chances while on the ice (CF%), while having the team’s highest expected goals differential (72.42%).

Harris wasn’t the only rookie that impressed right off the bat, as recently recalled Jesse Ylönen, who recorded an assist in his first game of the season, looked like an NHLer; despite the Canadiens running an 11-7 roster with ever-changing linemates.

With the Canadiens continuing to use the 11-7 formation, Ylönen will look to continue that forward momentum as he looks to cement a spot for himself in the near and immediate future, but, it’s safe to say he made a great first impression.

Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki also seem to be returning to their high-tempo offensive ways. Caufield has especially taken off of late, potting six goals in his last six games; three of which came on the power play.

Despite the difficulty they’ve had in the last few weeks, the Canadiens continue to maintain a competitive culture around their team. In the face of these losses, fans can’t help but look at the 2023 NHL Draft, as the team currently hold some of the best odds at winning one of the two lottery picks.

MUST READ: Draft Rankings Give Clarity on Potential Montreal Canadiens Pick

The New York Islanders instead find themselves in a heated sprint for the final Wild Card Spots in the Eastern Conference, with each point being of vital importance from here on out.

After going almost 20 games without a goal this season, Mat Barzal has seen a healthy return to his goal-scoring ways, potting seven goals in his last nine games for the Islanders; three of which were game-winning markers.

Meanwhile, QMJHL alum Noah Dobson continues to show that last season was no fluke; putting up 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points in just 43 games. He’s currently tied for fourth in the NHL, with the likes of Dougie Hamilton and Roman Josi, in goal-scoring for a defenceman and has emerged as the Islanders’ true No.1 defenceman

One of the main reasons the Islanders are still in the Wild Card race has been the excellent play of goaltender Ilya Sorokin, who recovered from some minor performance issues in November and has been utterly dominant ocer the last six weeks.

Over the last month, Sorokin sits third in the NHL for No.1 goaltenders in both save percentage (.928) and goals-against average (2.16); giving the Islanders a chance to win every game on a nigthly basis.

Montreal Canadiens Injuries

  • Kaiden Guhle (Injured Reserve)
  • Brendan Gallagher (Injured Reserve)
  • Mike Matheson (Injured Reserve)
  • Sean Monahan (Injured Reserve)
  • Carey Price (LTIR)
  • Paul Byron (LTIR)

New York Islanders Injuries

  • Adam Pelech (DTD)
  • Oliver Wahlstrom (DTD)
  • Kyle Palmieri (DTD)

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup

LWCRW
Josh AndersonNick SuzukiRem Pitlick
Mike HoffmanKirby DachJesse Ylönen
Christian DvorakEvgenii Dadonov
Micheal PezzettaAlex BelzileRafaël Harvey-Pinard
LDRD
Mike MathesonDavid Savard
Arber XhekajJustin Barron
Jordan HarrisJohnathan Kovacevic
Chris Wideman
Goalie
Jake Allen
Samuel Montembeault

New York Islanders Projected Lineup

Parise-Barzal-Bailey

Lee-Nelson-Holmstrom

Beauvillier-Pageau-Fasching

Martin-Cizikas-Clutterbuck

Defence:

Aho-Dobson

Wotherspoon-Pulock

Romanov-Mayfield

Goalies:

Sorokin

Varlamov

Special Teams

TeamPP %PK %
Montreal Canadiens 14.8% (32nd)73.5% (29th)
Ottawa Senators26.3% (3rd)81.2% (10th)

How to Watch Or Listen

TV

TVA Sports, City TV, MSGSN

Radio

Montreal Canadiens: TSN 69098,5FM

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