NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, March 16th
(All times Eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (18-5-4) at New Jersey Devils (13-9-6), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens try to match their longest winning
streak of the season on Saturday night when they visit the New Jersey Devils
for the first time in 2013.
The Canadiens have won four straight and have logged a point in 15 of their
past 16 games. They are 12-1-3 in that stretch, which began with a season-high
five straight wins from Feb. 12-19.
Montreal extended its current run with Wednesday's 4-3 shootout win over the
Ottawa Senators. Lars Eller had the deciding goal in the tiebreaker as he
faked to the backhand before snapping in a forehand shot in the third round.
Carey Price then sealed the win by stopping Kyle Turris' wrister to cap a 29-
"It felt good to make a difference in the end," said Eller, who also scored in
the first period. "We got two points which is what we wanted and got. I feel
pretty good, but it's not hard to when your team is winning."
Brendan Gallagher and P.K. Subban both scored power-play goals in the second
period for the Canadiens, who with 40 points are tied with the Pittsburgh
Penguins for the most in the Eastern Conference and one ahead of the Boston
Bruins for first place in the Northeast Division.
Montreal, though, won't have forward Michael Ryder due to a lower body injury
as he did not make the trip to New Jersey. He has a pair of goals and nine
points in eight games since being acquired from the Dallas Stars.
Habs center David Desharnais will play in his first game since inking a four-
year extension on Friday. He has eight goals and eight assists in 27 games
this season and was third on the club last season with 60 points.
While the Canadiens have been surging since mid-February, the Devils have
struggled to a 3-6-2 mark in their past 11 games. Those contests have all come
without the services of goaltender Martin Brodeur, who has not played since
Feb. 21 due to a sore back.
New Jersey had won three of four, including Wednesday's home win over
Philadelphia, before dropping Friday's conclusion of the home-and-home set
versus the Flyers 2-1 in a shootout.
David Clarkson had a game-tying goal in the second period, but both he and
Patrik Elias had their shootout attempts fail after Ilya Kovalchuk opened the
tiebreaker with a first-round tally.
Johan Hedberg, meanwhile, yielded goals to the first two skaters he faced
after making 21 saves through overtime.
"They were more cautious in the game today than (Wednesday)," said Hedberg.
"Obviously they weren't pinching on everything, and it seemed like they played
more tighter game than they did. I think we played a really good road game and
come down to a shootout."
New Jersey had won each of its first seven shootouts versus the Flyers since
the format was introduced and the point did pull the Devils into a tie with
the Ottawa Senators for fifth place in the East with 32 points.
The Devils had won three straight versus the Habs before suffering a 4-3
overtime setback in Montreal on Jan. 27. Andrei Markov scored on the power-
play with 38 seconds left in the bonus frame, while Gallagher was one of three
regulation scorers for the Canadiens.
Price made 22 saves and Brodeur had 28 stops, while Elias and Clarkson scored
for the Devils
These teams have split the past eight encounters in New Jersey.
03/16 10:22:02 ET