Plekanec, Weise score two apiece to lead Canadiens past Devils
With only six goals in their previous four games, the Montreal Canadiens were anxious to break out with a big game.
It came Saturday night against a New Jersey team using backup goalie Keith Kincaid and playing its second game in two nights.
Tomas Plekanec and Dale Weise each scored twice and P.K. Subban assisted on three power-play goals as the Canadiens beat the Devils 6-2.
"We know how tough it can be at times to score," said Subban, who assisted on the Canadiens' three goals in the second period. "It's not easy, especially in the second half (of the season), teams are trying to bear down.
"But we did a lot of things well. We moved the puck well and got to net when we had to. Our focus from the start was to try to generate as many shots as we could and we had 15 in the first period. Good things happened for us."
Andrei Markov and Lars Eller also scored and David Desharnais also had three assists for the Canadiens, who outshot the Devils 44-22.
Markov, Eller and Plekanec scored in the second period to put Montreal ahead 3-1. Plekanec and Weise scored 30 seconds apart with about 7 1/2 minutes remaining in the third, and Weise scored again with 4:42 left.
Michael Cammalleri and Jacob Josefson scored for the Devils, who snapped a three-game winning streak. New Jersey also ended a run of six consecutive games with at least one point.
"Their juice and execution was a little better than ours," Cammalleri said. "There were a couple of spurts where we took the game back a bit, and there were some untimely penalties and they really took advantage of them.
"They made some strong plays. That really turned the tide."
Carey Price finished with 21 saves for the Canadiens, and the Kinkaid stopped 38 shots for the Devils.
New Jersey scored on its first attempt as Jaromir Jagr dropped a pass to Peter Harrold for a shot that was deflected to the top corner past a helpless Price by Cammalleri.
Dainius Zubrus took a double-minor for high-sticking Subban and the Canadiens scored twice. Markov sent a feed from Subban from the point past Kinkaid with 8:39 left in the seond. Then Eller one-timed a cross-ice feed 59 seconds later, ending a 14-game goal-scoring drought.
Plekanec made it 3-1 from the top of the right circle with 10 seconds to go in the period.
"That was huge," Weise said of the power-play goals, the team's first in five games. "That was the turning point of the game."
Josefson closed the gap when he finished a 2-on-1 with Tuomo Ruutu 3:01 into the third.
Plekanec then scored his 15th of the season into an open net with 7:56 remaining, and Weise put in a rebound 30 seconds later. Max Pacioretty fed Weise in front for his second goal to cap the scoring.
"We wanted our team to be aggressive tonight," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. "We wanted to put pucks at the net. Our guys focused on that.
"It's good for the confidence of the team."
The Canadiens hope that carries into Sunday night's game against the rival Bruins in Boston. Montreal will be looking for a sweep of its season series after taking the first three games against the Bruins by a combined score of 13-5.
NOTES: Subban also had three assists in a 4-2 win in New Jersey on Jan. 2. ... Manny Malhotra, Mike Weaver and Michael Bournival were scratched for Montreal. The Devils sat out Michael Ryder and Eric Gelinas.