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Canadiens take on lowly Islanders

Montreal (7-1-1) at NY Islanders (2-6-1) 7:00 p.m. EDT

UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) -- A matchup with one of the

Eastern Conference's best teams is not the ideal way for the New

Islanders to snap their current five-game losing streak.

But that is precisely what the last-place Islanders will try to

do Saturday, when they host the Montreal Canadiens.

New York, which has amassed a league-low five points over its

first nine games, collected one for the first time in two weeks

Thursday in a 3-2 overtime loss to Philadelphia.

Despite evening the game at 2-2 on Andy Hilbert's third-period

goal, the Islanders fell to 0-6-1 when trailing after two

periods this season.

After capping a 4-1-0 homestand with a 3-2 shootout win over

Carolina on Tuesday, Montreal began a stretch of eight of 10 on

the road with 2-1 triumph in Minnesota two days later.

The Canadiens sit atop the Northeast Division thanks to a pair

of quality goaltenders and a balanced scoring attack.

Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak have Montreal ranked third in the

league with 2.11 goals allowed per game, while Alex Tanguay and

captain Saku Koivu have combined for 10 goals and 11 assists to

lead the NHL's fifth-ranked offense, which his averaging 3.33

goals.

Montreal's 1.22 goal differential per game ranks first in the

NHL.

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