NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, December 4th (All times Eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (16-9-3) at New Jersey Devils (11-12-5), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The surging Montreal Canadiens will try to complete a home-and-home sweep when they visit the New Jersey Devils for Wednesday's rematch at Prudential Center.
The Canadiens notched a 3-2 regulation win over the visiting Devils on Monday, giving Montreal a 6-0-1 record over its past seven contests. The recent hot stretch has pushed the Habs into a tie for second place in the Atlantic Division, three points behind first-place Boston.
Montreal won its second game in a row in Monday's close decision against New Jersey. Alex Galchenyuk scored the game-winner for the Habs when he gave the hosts a 3-2 edge with 10:26 left in the third period.
After being benched for the third period for an undisciplined penalty in Saturday's victory over Toronto, Galchenyuk earned a bit of redemption with his game-winner on Monday. Alexei Emelin missed the net on a shot from the middle, but Galchenyuk was there to steer the puck into the net on a broken play to give the Canadiens the lead for good.
"I wasn't feeling low on Saturday, it happens, it's part of the game. I put it behind me. I was definitely excited about this game. I wanted to play good and was happy with that goal," said Galchenyuk.
Rene Bourque tallied a goal and an assist in the win, while David Desharnais contributed two helpers. Max Pacioretty provided the other goal for Montreal and Carey Price turned aside 27-of-29 shots to record the victory. Price was particularly sharp in the opening period, when he held the Devils to just one goal on 11 shots.
"We weren't ready to play in the first period. It could have been 4-0 for the Devils, but Carey kept us in the game. We owe it to our goalies to step up when they bail us out," said Pacioretty.
Price improved his career record against the Devils to 8-9-1 and he expects to get the start again in Wednesday's finale. He has a solid 2.39 goals against average and .916 save percentage in 18 career games versus New Jersey.
Cory Schneider will get the call for New Jersey tonight after Martin Brodeur yielded three goals on 17 shots in Monday's setback. Schneider has never faced the Canadiens.
Steve Bernier and Michael Ryder lit the lamp on Monday for New Jersey, which had a two-game winning streak snapped in the opener of this two-game series.
"We played well at the start. We missed a couple of open-netters. Their defensemen made a couple of good plays and at the end that is what made the difference," said Brodeur after Monday's loss.
Devils forward Adam Henrique left the opener of the home-and-home set with a lower-body injury and is questionable for Wednesday's clash. Henrique is tied for second on New Jersey with six goals this season.
The Canadiens have won three of the past four meetings against New Jersey overall, but the Devils have claimed two of the past three encounters in Newark.
Montreal has a 7-4-1 road record this season, while the Devils are 5-4-2 as the host.
12/04 10:29:25 ET