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Game Preview: Canadiens @ Devils

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

CANADIENS (47-22-9) @ DEVILS (31-33-13)

The Habs will aim to bounce back from a two-game slide on Friday in New Jersey.

The Canadiens fell 5-4 in a shootout following a back-and-forth game against the Capitals at the Bell Centre on Thursday night.

Despite allowing an NHL-best average of just 2.24 goals per game, Montreal has now given up a total of nine over their last two outings.

Nevertheless, the team still holds the top spot in the Atlantic Division thanks to Tampa Bay’s overtime loss on Thursday.

The Habs can sweep their season series opposite the Devils with a win on Friday, after previously besting New Jersey 4-2 in January and 6-2 in February – two games in which defenseman P.K. Subban picked up a trio of assists each.

Dustin Tokarski will get the start in goal for Montreal.

He’ll take on Keith Kinkaid, who has already faced the Habs twice this season. On Saturday, Kinkaid made 29 saves in a 3-1 loss to Carolina.

The Devils meanwhile fell 3-2 to Columbus most recently on Tuesday.

The Devils boast the NHL’s ninth-best power play, an aspect head coach Michel Therrien will no doubt focus on after allowing three goals to the Capitals’ man advantage on Thursday.

Aside from the change between the pipes, Therrien also confirmed that Andrei Markov will join Price in getting the night off in New Jersey. The 36-year-old defenseman will be replaced on the blue line by veteran Sergei Gonchar, who returns to action following a nine-game absence.

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