The red-hot Montreal Canadiens made the New Jersey Devils their
latest victims. They’ll try for a repeat performance as the teams
close out a home-and-home series in Newark on Wednesday night.
Montreal (16-9-3) is 6-0-1 in its past seven games after a 3-2
victory Monday. Alex Galchenyuk, Rene Bourque and Max Pacioretty
scored for the Canadiens, while defenseman P.K. Subban recorded his
team-leading 20th assist, had five blocked shots and made two
dramatic goal-line saves.
The Canadiens were outshot 22-9 through two periods and 30-17
overall, but continued to roll since a 5-7-2 stretch. Montreal has
allowed two or fewer goals in 10 of its last 11 games, and its
season total of 59 is third lowest in the NHL.
” … I appreciate that we found a way to win. That’s what
matters,” coach Michel Therrien said.
Carey Price played a big part in finding it, making 28 saves to
win his fifth straight start. He’s posted a 1.80 goals-against
average in that span.
“It’s fun to play right now. It’s fun for our hockey club right
now to go out and play, and we just hope the games keep coming
because we got the ball rolling,” said Subban, who has a goal, six
assists and a plus-6 rating in the last seven contests.
Center David Desharnais also continued to produce with two
assists Monday, giving him two goals and six assists in his past
seven games after he managed one assist in his first 19.
The Devils (11-12-5) had been seeking a third straight victory
before suffering their third loss in four meetings with the
Canadiens. New Jersey hadn’t lost in regulation at Montreal in the
previous nine matchups.
Former Canadien Michael Ryder and Steve Bernier scored for the
Devils. Bernier has a goal in each of the last two games for New
Jersey, which has dropped four of six.
Martin Brodeur made 14 saves and wasn’t at his best, indicating
that the lack of work left him struggling to stay focused.
“Usually when I don’t have any shots, what helps me is that I’m
used to playing the puck,” he said. “When I get no shots, I’m able
to stay in the game. But when I get no shots, and I can’t play the
puck, the games are long.
“It’s tough to get going. Not before the third period that I
felt good, and I started making some saves.”
Brodeur has given up seven goals in his last two starts, and
he’s lost four straight. Backup Cory Schneider has gone 3-1-1 with
a 0.97 GAA in his past five outings, including a 1-0 win over
Buffalo on Saturday.
The Devils were without defenseman Adam Larsson and forwards
Stephen Gionta and Ryan Clowe on Monday. The status of all three
for Wednesday is uncertain, though Clowe practiced Tuesday on a
limited basis for the first time in almost two months.
He’s missed the last 22 games.
The Devils have won two of their past three at home against
Montreal, with the most recent such matchup a 3-2 New Jersey
victory April 23.
Pacioretty has three goals and an assist in the past two games,
and he’s scored one goal in two straight and three of his last four
meetings with New Jersey.