Canadiens-Devils Preview

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.