NEWARK - The Canadiens were down 3-0 before the halfway mark of the game, but rallied to beat the New Jersey Devils 5-4 in a shootout at Prudential Center on Tuesday.
With Carey Price home with flu-like symptoms, Charlie Lindgren got the start. New Jersey native Cayden Primeau was called up from the AHL's Laval Rocket on an emergency basis and served as Lindgren's backup.
Victor Mete was also experiencing flu-like symptoms and did not play, so Christian Folin drew in after being recalled from Laval over the weekend.
The Habs didn't allow the Devils to take a single shot on net until 7:12 after the opening puck drop, getting seven on Domingue before New Jersey managed its first one of the night.
The Devils would get on the board first, however, with Miles Wood beating Lindgren at the 9:17 mark of the first.
That would be the only goal of the first frame, and so the Devils headed to the room up 1-0 after 20, although the Canadiens were leading 9-8 in shots.
Early in the second, the Devils doubled their lead while on the power play. On the faceoff immediately following the penalty call to captain Shea Weber, Kyle Palmieri beat Lindgren to make it a 2-0 game at 1:51 of the period.
Jesper Bratt added another one for New Jersey while the teams were playing 4-on-4 at 6:44 of the frame.
The Canadiens replied in a big way with 6:52 to go in the period. With Max Domi in the box for slashing, Joel Armia broke away in the neutral zone and beat New Jersey starter Louis Domingue for his 14th of the season to reduce the Devils' lead to 3-1.
The tally allowed Armia to set a new career high in goals, beating his previous best of 13 from last season in Montreal.
Nate Thompson made it a one-goal game again just 3:58 later when he drove to the net and made a beautiful move to trick Domingue and find the back of the net for his third of 2019-20.
Ryan Poehling earned an assist on the play, his first of the season.
Max Domi nearly tied the game with 65 seconds left in the period but was robbed point-blank by Domingue's glove.
After 40, the Habs were trailing 3-2. The shots were even at 10 apiece in the second.
The Canadiens got their third of the night when Max Domi rushed in and gave it to Brett Kulak in the corner, who then fed it to Nick Cousins for his eighth of the season at 7:22 of the third.
Montreal got its first lead of the night 2:13 later. Christian Folin wristed the puck from the point and saw it redirected by Travis Zajac and in. Folin was playing his first game with the Habs since October 19, and got his first of the season.
Tomas Tatar and Phillip Danault got assists on the play, with Tatar extending his points streak to five games as a result.
New Jersey got a late equalizer on the power play after the Habs were called for too many men. Palmieri got his second of the night with 19.4 seconds to go in regulation.
This game would need to be decided in extra time, and with no decision in overtime, the two teams headed to a shootout.
And after Nikita Gusev, Joel Armia, and Kyle Palmieri couldn't score in the shootout, Ilya Kovalchuk sank his former team. Jack Hughes had the last try but couldn't convert.