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The Montreal Canadiens have gotten scoring from many different players during their record homestand. Variety on offense is exactly how they've put together a winning streak against the New Jersey Devils.
Unbeaten during the longest homestand in franchise history, the Canadiens look to win four straight against the Devils for the first time in 19 years as the teams meet Saturday night.
Montreal (15-6-4) was shut out in Washington on Nov. 28 prior to opening a club-record seven-game homestand, but has scored 14 goals en route to winning three straight. Eight players have scored at least once for the Canadiens during that stretch.
Scoring had historically been a problem against Martin Brodeur and New Jersey (13-8-2), but Montreal has won three straight in the series for the first time since sweeping three meetings in 1988-89 and taking the first game the following season.
The Canadiens have scored 10 goals during their run against the Devils, with seven players finding the back of the net. All of those goals were scored against Brodeur, who is on injured reserve after undergoing left elbow surgery in early November.
Even so, New Jersey has allowed two goals or fewer in four of its last six games, going 5-0-1 in that span, so Montreal will need continued strong efforts from its complementary players.
Georges Laraque, Steve Begin and Maxim Lapierre, the Canadiens' fourth line Thursday, combined for six points in a 6-2 win over the New York Rangers.
"Role players like them are supposed to bring energy and that's exactly what's happening right now," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said. "They're doing whatever it takes to stay in the lineup. They're also playing much better defensively in our zone, meaning they're spending more time in the offensive end making things happen."
The trio helped the Canadiens improve to 9-4-2 at home.
New Jersey is coming off a 3-2 overtime win over Philadelphia on Thursday night, and is now set to conclude a five-game road trip.
This has been the best stretch of the season for the Devils, who have gone 6-0-1 following a four-game losing streak.
New Jersey was bolstered Thursday by the return of right wing Brian Rolston, who was sidelined for 18 games after suffering a severe ankle sprain in Atlanta on Oct. 16, and center John Madden, who was back after sitting out four games with a bruised ankle.
Patrik Elias, though, led the Devils by scoring the tying and winning goals.
Elias' 15th overtime goal pulled him into a tie with Mats Sundin and Jaromir Jagr for the NHL record. Devils coach Brent Sutter said that not everyone is able to perform like Elias under such pressure situations.
"It's a quality that certain people have," Sutter said. "Some people get into a groove and handle it better than others. With some guys, things just seem to work for them in those situations and Patty's one of those guys."
Elias, however, has been held off the scoresheet in three of his last four games at Montreal. The Canadiens went 3-1-0 against the Devils overall last season.