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Isles give Jaroslav Halak back-to-back starts

Brendan Gallagher #11 of the Montreal Canadiens and

Brendan Gallagher #11 of the Montreal Canadiens and Jaroslav Halak #41 of the New York Islanders watch the rebounding puck during an NHL game at Bell Centre on Jan. 17, 2015, in Montreal Photo Credit: Getty Images / Richard Wolowicz

MONTREAL - Jaroslav Halak got the call Saturday night, making starts on back-to-back nights for only the second time this season.

After the previous time -- wins over the Red Wings in Detroit on Dec. 19 and the Lightning at the Coliseum on Dec. 20 -- Halak missed the next two games around the three-day holiday break because of an undisclosed injury.

But Jack Capuano still thought Halak was ready to try back-to-backs again, facing the team that gave Halak his NHL start.

"He's an honest guy and he wants to win," Capuano said of Halak, who was named to the All-Star Game on Thursday. "When he told us he felt real good [after Friday], we decided to go back with him."

Halak has said he rarely played back-to-backs while with the Blues because St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock "didn't really believe in goalies doing that." With the numbers showing that Hitchcock is on the right track, Capuano (and most coaches around the NHL) has avoided doing so this season.

Saturday night was the second time in eight back-to-back situations that Capuano used the same goaltender.

Mikhail, Lubo stay home

Mikhail Grabovski (lower body) and Lubomir Visnovsky (upper body) remained on Long Island, missing their fourth and sixth consecutive games. Visnovsky is on injured reserve still.

Former Islander PA Parenteau (illness) sat out for the Canadiens. Former Ranger Dale Weise moved up to play on the Canadiens' top line with Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec.

Montreal goaltender Carey Price is listed as day-to-day. Another former Islander, Joey MacDonald, was called up Friday and backed up Dustin Tokarski Saturday night.

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