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Habs host Isles, Jets take on Bruins on TSN regionals, radio

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The Sports Network
4/10/2014 11:52:17 AM
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The Montreal Canadiens hope to aid their push for home ice in the first round of the playoffs when they host the New York Islanders in Thursday's game at the Bell Centre.

Viewers in the Habs region can watch the game on TSN starting at 7:30pm et/8:30pm at and listen to it on TSN Radio 690.

Montreal will face Tampa Bay in the first round of the playoffs and currently holds a three-point lead over the Lightning for second place in the Atlantic Division and home-ice advantage in the best-of-seven series. However, Tampa Bay has three games left in the regular season compared to two for the Canadiens.

The Habs are closing their regular-season slate with two straight on home ice and will host the New York Rangers in their 82nd game on Saturday. Montreal is 22-12-5 as the home team this season.

The Canadiens lost for just the second time in nine outings on Wednesday, but they still picked up a point in a 3-2 overtime loss at Chicago. Peter Budaj misplayed a harmless Patrick Sharp shot into the game winner at 43 seconds of OT, giving the Blackhawks a come-from-behind victory at United Center.

Marian Hossa tied the game inside the final minute with the extra attacker, then Sharp won it when his contested, rolling shot from between the circles trickled up Budaj's stick. Instead of trapping it, the Habs' netminder tried to shake it away, and instead whacked it into the net for Chicago's winning goal.

"We were in a position to get two points, but I really liked the way we played," Montreal head coach Michel Therrien said. "On the last two goals, it was some bad coverage in front of the net. I'm sure on the last goal, the winning goal, (Budaj) certainly would like to see that shot again, but those things happen."

Dale Weise and Francis Bouillon scored for the Canadiens, while Budaj took the loss despite 25 stops.

The Islanders are out of the playoffs for the sixth time in seven seasons after making an appearance last spring. The club has lost three straight and has been outscored by a combined 8-1 margin over the last two games.

After losing 4-0 in Columbus on Sunday, New York was dealt a 4-1 setback by the visiting Ottawa Senators in Tuesday's season finale at Nassau Coliseum. Jason Spezza scored twice, including the go-ahead goal in the third period to lift the Senators to the win and drop New York's record this season on Long Island to 13-19-9.

"We had some problems here at home," said Islanders coach Jack Capuano. "That's something we have to straighten out if we want to make the playoffs."

Next season marks New York's last campaign at the Coliseum, as the club is scheduled to move to Brooklyn's Barclays Center at the start of 2015-16.

Frans Nielsen scored for the Islanders, while Anders Nilsson made 28 saves in a losing effort.

New York will play three games on the road to complete its schedule and is 18-18-2 as the visiting team. After tonight's tilt at the Bell Centre, the Isles will visit New Jersey on Friday before ending the campaign Sunday in Buffalo.

Montreal has won three straight against the Islanders overall, but New York has claimed three of the past five meetings in Quebec.

Boston Bruins at Winnipeg Jets

The Boston Bruins will try to move closer to just the second Presidents' Trophy in franchise history on Thursday night as they take on the Winnipeg Jets.

Viewers in the Jets region can watch the game on TSN starting at 6:30pm ct/7:30pm et and listen to it on TSN Radio 1290 in Winnipeg.

The Bruins lead the NHL with 114 points, two ahead of the idle Anaheim Ducks with a game in hand. Boston has already locked up the top seed in the Eastern Conference and has not finished a season as the top points earner since 1989-90, when it lost to the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup Finals.

With nothing to play for down the stretch, the Bruins have lost three of their last four games, but they are 1-1-2 in that stretch and have earned a point in 19 of their previous 20 games (16-1-3).

Boston is coming off Tuesday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild, yielding the game-tying goal with 1:05 left in regulation before getting shut out in the tiebreaker.

Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith and Patrice Bergeron lit the lamp for the Bruins, while Tuukka Rask made 21 saves.

"I felt we were a little sloppy tonight. We weren't very sharp in our passing and our playmaking," Bruins head coach Claude Julien said.

Both forward Jarome Iginla and defenseman Kevan Miller missed a second straight game, while David Krejci, who leads the NHL with a plus-39 rating, was scratched from the game for rest.

Both Iginla and Miller practiced on Wednesday and could be game-time decisions.

The Bruins will host the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday before ending the regular season at the New Jersey Devils on Sunday. Rask figures to get some rest over that time, but could start tonight and is 8-4-0 lifetime versus the Jets with a 1.98 goals against average and two shutouts.

Winnipeg comes in having lost four of its last six games and will miss the playoffs for a seventh straight season.

The Jets are also banged up as both Andrew Ladd (undisclosed) and Dustin Byfuglien (upper body) will miss the club's final two games of the regular season, while goaltender Al Montoya and defensemen Zach Bogosian and Keaton Ellerby are questionable due to injury.

Though Winnipeg lost a 1-0 decision to Minnesota on Monday, it marked a solid NHL debut for Michael Hutchinson as he posted 16 saves.

The 24-year-old Hutchinson, a third-round pick by Boston in 2008, began the season in the ECHL before putting up solid numbers with the St. John's IceCaps of the AHL.

"Everyone hopes to play a game in the NHL every season but realistically I didn't think it'd be possible," admitted Hutchinson. "I'm very fortunate to have been in some good situations and I was able to play well this year and I was just happy to get a shot."

Winnipeg ends its regular season on Friday at the Calgary Flames and Hutchinson may get another start tonight.

The Jets have lost three of four and six of their last nine versus the Bruins, including a 4-1 setback in Boston on Jan. 4. Torey Krug scored twice and had an assist for Boston, while Rask posted 36 saves.

Byfuglien had the lone Winnipeg goal and Ondrej Pavelec made 25 saves in defeat.

The Bruins have lost five of their last six road meetings with the Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise.

Brendan Gallagher (Photo: Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
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