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Habs shoot for season sweep of Devils
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Montreal Canadiens will try to complete a season sweep of the New Jersey Devils when the clubs meet for the third and final time in Tuesday's battle at the Bell Centre.
Unless the Canadiens and Devils meet in the playoffs, Tuesday's encounter in Montreal will be the final meeting between the clubs in 2013-14. The Habs are 2-0 against New Jersey so far this season, taking both tilts of a home- and-home series on Dec. 2 and 4.
The Canadiens haven't swept New Jersey in a season series since winning all three encounters during the 1998-89 campaign.
The Devils enter Tuesday on a 2-0-2 point streak, but the club's shootout woes continued in its last outing as New Jersey fell 2-1 in Sunday's setback at Toronto. Peter DeBoer's club has an 0-7 record in shootouts this season and his players have combined to go 1-for-23 in the penalty shot round.
New Jersey had won two in a row before losing Sunday against the Maple Leafs. James van Riemsdyk scored the lone goal of the shootout to help Toronto earn the extra point. Van Riemsdyk opened the game's decisive phase with a nifty backhander past Cory Schneider before Jonathan Bernier turned aside all three New Jersey shooters to give the Leafs the victory.
Adam Henrique and Ryane Clowe scored regulation goals for the Devils, while Schneider made 23 saves in defeat.
"I couldn't have drawn it up much better than how we played and the effort we got," DeBoer said.
New Jersey is 9-12-4 as the visiting team this season and is making the second stop on a four-game road trip tonight. Martin Brodeur, a Montreal native, is expected to get the start on Tuesday and he is 44-19-1 with five ties and a 1.85 GAA in his career against the Habs.
Montreal is 3-1-1 in January and is coming off Saturday's overtime win against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks. Andrei Markov's second goal of the contest, coming at 1:28 of the extra session, lifted the Canadiens to their second win in three game.
Markov blasted a shot from the left point to beat Corey Crawford for the decisive tally. It was the fifth goal of the season for the veteran defenseman and his first game-winner.
"It was gut-wrenching. I couldn't wait for it to be over," said Habs assistant coach J.J. Daigneault. "Still, this was probably our team's best 60-minute effort of the season."
Carey Price needed to make only 19 saves in the win for the Canadiens and he expects to be in net again on Tuesday. Price is 8-9-1 with a 2.39 GAA in 18 career games against the Devils.
Montreal has won four of its last five meetings against New Jersey overall. The Devils have lost two straight in Quebec after winning their previous eight at the Bell Centre.
01/14 10:59:48 ET