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Game Preview: Canadiens (25-29-11) @ Devils (33-25-8)

The Canadiens arrive in New Jersey with points in each of their last seven games

by Dan Braverman @CanadiensMTL /

After a win and overtime loss over the weekend, the Canadiens arrive in New Jersey having collected at least a point in each of their last seven games.

On Saturday, Brendan Gallagher was the lone Habs goal-scorer in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. 

Antti Niemi was 2:45 away from his first shutout of the season, and made a career-high 48 saves in the loss.

Video: MTL Recap: Gallagher scores as Habs suffer OT loss

The Habs had a day off on Sunday, but the Finnish netminder was not on the ice for practice at Boston University's Agganis Arena the next day, taking a therapy day instead. Following Tuesday's morning skate, head coach Claude Julien announced that Niemi was dealing with a lower-body injury and that Zach Fucale, called up later on Monday from Laval, would back up Charlie Lindgren against the Devils.

Julien also announced that David Schlemko was day-to-day with an upper-body injury, and that Rinat Valiev would be making his first appearance with the Canadiens on a pairing with Jordie Benn.

As for the Devils, they are coming off a 3-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday. It was their third straight loss, after also falling to the Penguins (Tuesday) and Panthers (Thursday) last week.

Taylor Hall leads New Jersey with 72 points, and has reached the 30-goal plateau for the first time in his career. He is currently riding a 25-game point streak, having collected 36 (18G, 18A) in that span. Rookie Nico Hischier is next with 41 points (13G, 28A) in 66 games.

In the only other meeting between the two teams this season, the Habs beat New Jersey 2-1 in overtime in December at the Bell Centre. After Tuesday night's tilt, the two clubs resume hostilities again on April 1 in Montreal.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. The game will be televised on TSN2 and RDS, and will be on the radio on TSN 690 and 98,5 fm.

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