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(Wednesday, December 4th)
Final Score: Montreal 4, New Jersey 3 (SO)
Newark, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - David Desharnais tied the game with 36.6 seconds left in regulation and notched the game-winner in the second round of the shootout, as the Montreal Canadiens downed the New Jersey Devils, 4-3, on Wednesday at Prudential Center.
After the first two shooters found the back of the net in the shootout, Peter Budaj stuffed Travis Zajac's backhander and Desharnais followed by charging down the right wing, cutting in front, and slipping the disc through the five- hole of New Jersey netminder Cory Schneider.
Patrik Elias had a chance to extend the game for New Jersey, but Budaj made a nice left pad save to send Montreal to its third straight victory.
Former Devil Brian Gionta notched a goal and an assist, while Lars Eller also lit the lamp for the Canadiens, who improved to 7-0-1 over their last eight games. Budaj backstopped the triumph with 31 saves.
"You have to find ways to win and tonight we were able to do that," Gionta said. "Obviously it wasn't our prettiest win, but these are the points that are huge when you can steal a couple points."
Michael Ryder and Andrei Loktionov each registered a goal and an assist, while Elias also scored for the Devils, who were coming off a 3-2 setback in Montreal on Monday.
Schneider stopped 27 shots in defeat. The Devils fell to 0-5 in shootouts this season.
Gionta's tip-in tally off a cross-ice feed from Daniel Briere 10:36 into the tilt served as the game's only goal until the final frame, when the teams combined for five goals, including three in the final 3:50 of regulation.
Loktionov evened the score at 4:19 of the third when his wrister from atop the right circle slipped through the five-hole of Budaj, and Ryder followed just over 5 1/2 minutes later with his seventh of the season to make it 2-1 Devils.
Montreal retied the game with just under four minutes left when Eller recovered his own rebound in close and backhanded the disc through the legs of Schneider from the low right side.
Elias came up with a P.K. Subban turnover deep in the Montreal zone and lit the lamp from the left faceoff dot to put the Devils back in front at 18:54, but Adam Henrique returned the favor under a minute later, setting up Desharnais' tip-in tally off a Gionta blast that tied the game with 36.6 ticks to play.
"Tough loss for us," Schneider said. "They're a tough team to close. They're opportunistic."
Montreal registered three shots in overtime, while New Jersey managed just one in a scoreless extra session.
Montreal's Tomas Plekanec notched his 250th career assist ... Gionta was a third-round pick of New Jersey in 1998 and spent his first seven NHL seasons with the Devils ... New Jersey forward Reid Boucher made his NHL debut and assisted on Ryder's goal for his first career point. He also scored the first shootout goal for the Devils after an 0-for-14 start to the season in that category ... Montreal improved to 8-4-1 on the road this season ... The Canadiens went 0-for-3 on the power play, while New Jersey finished 0-for-2 on the man advantage.
12/05 00:58:22 ET
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