Theodore looks to continue his outstanding play against the New York Islanders when the teams meet for the second time this season.
Theodore, the NHL leader this season with four shutouts, stopped 34 shots in a 3-0 victory over the Islanders at Montreal on Oct. 23. In 17 career games, including 16 starts, against New York, Theodore is 9-7-1 with five shutouts, a 1.70 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage.
The Canadiens, winners of two of their last nine games (2-6-1), need their goaltender to be in top form because they are one of the league’s weakest offensive teams, with 31 goals in 16 games. Defenseman Sheldon Souray is the team leader with six goals.
Rookie Michael Ryder scored in the second period Tuesday, as Montreal skated to a 1-1 tie against visiting Columbus.
“We just got better as the game went on,” Souray said. “We didn’t start out that great. We got outplayed noticeably in the first period, played better in the second period, played a little bit better in the third, and then we were all over them in the overtime. We wanted to get the two points.”
Montreal went 0-for-5 with the man advantage and has just five goals in the last 55 power-play opportunities.
“We have to capitalize on those power plays,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. “If we get a goal or two, we’ve got a much different game.”
The Islanders have dropped consecutive games for the first time this season following a 2-1 loss at Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Defenseman Adrian Aucoin scored on the power play in the second period for the Islanders, winners of six of eight at home this season.
“No one likes to lose,” Islanders coach Steve Stirling said. “But the effort was there.”
Veteran Garth Snow stopped 31 shots Tuesday, ending his personal three-game unbeaten streak. Rick DiPietro, who had won three straight before Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Atlanta, figures to get the start Thursday.
New York has won eight of its last 11 home games against Montreal (8-2-1).
STANDINGS (through Nov. 11): Canadiens - 15 points, 3rd place (tied), 6 PB, Northeast Division. Islanders - 16 points, 3rd place, 4 PB, Atlantic Division.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 11): Canadiens - Power play: 12.3 percent (9 for 73), 26th in NHL. Penalty killing: 78.3 percent (47 for 60), 27th. Islanders - Power play: 14.5 percent (9 for 62), 21st. Penalty killing: 91.9 percent (57 for 62), 1st.
GOALTENDERS: Canadiens - Theodore (6-6-0, 4 SO, 2.17 GAA); Mathieu Garon (1-2-1, 1.97). Islanders - DiPietro (5-3-1, 1, 1.98); Snow (2-2-1, 3.56).
SEASON SERIES: Canadiens, 1-0.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Canadiens - 2-3-0-0 on the road; Islanders - 6-2-0-0 at home.