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Game preview: Canadiens @ Devils

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

CANADIENS (16-9-3) @ DEVILS (11-12-5)

The Habs left Montreal bound for Newark with two points in the bank courtesy of a 3-2 win over the Devils in the first half of their home-and-home series on Monday night.

Despite being outshot 11-5 by the Devils in the opening period, the Canadiens were only down 1-0 after the first. While Steve Bernier opened the scoring for the visitors, P.K. Subban and Carey Price kept the Devils at bay with spectacular defensive efforts.

In the second, the Habs’ stars began to find their range. David Desharnais fed Rene Bourque for his sixth goal of the year. The Albertan’s snap shot from in close left Martin Brodeur with no time to react. The goal brought the home crowd to life. Max Pacioretty would add his 10th goal of the season on the power play later in the period.

Former Hab Michael Ryder briefly tied the game at two by putting a slap shot past Price, but Alex Galchenyuk tipped home an Alexei Emelin point shot five minutes later to put the game out of reach.

The win brought Montreal’s point streak to a season-high seven games (6-0-1). Meanwhile, the Devils are 2-4 in their last six games.

Other than Davis Drewiske, who is on injured reserve with a shoulder ailment, Montreal boasts a healthy lineup. The Devils, however, are currently missing Ryane Clowe, Stephen Gionta, Adam Larsson and Bryce Salvador. Ryan Carter and Adam Henrique are also hurting, but might play on Wednesday.

Cory Schneider will be between the pipes for New Jersey. He’ll be making his first career start against the Canadiens. Andy Greene, Marek Zidlicky and Eric Gelinas, the team’s most-used defensemen in the absence of Salvador, will be counted on to protect the young netminder.

For his part, Michel Therrien has yet to indicate whether Carey Price or Peter Budaj will get the call against the Devils.

Wednesday’s game will be the second of three regular-season meetings between the two teams. The Habs are 2-2 in their last four games in the Garden State.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST at the Prudential Center.

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