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Montoya to face Devils

Goaltender Al Montoya gets the start in New Jersey on Monday

by Steven Nechay @CanadiensMTL /

NEWARK -- The Canadiens practiced in New Jersey on Monday morning, in preparation for the first of back-to-back games against the Devils and the Blue Jackets this week.

The last time the Habs visited the Prudential Center, Al Montoya was between the pipes for a 3-1 win against the Devils.

Video: Habs ride potent power play to 3-1 win against Devils

On Monday, Montoya will get the start once again in the Garden State, as Claude Julien looks to the 32-year-old for the first time since being named head coach on February 14.

"I've seen what he's capable of, and I think he's been solid all season," underlined the Habs bench boss. "For a coach, it's nice to be able to trust both your goaltenders to get the job done, and we'll take advantage of that fact as we get set to play two games in two nights."

Montoya is 7-5-3 with the Canadiens this season, and holds a 6-2-2 career record against New Jersey.


Following Saturday's overtime win in Toronto, the Canadiens now have the opportunity to win consecutive games for the first time since stringing together three Ws in early January.

Doing so as of Monday now becomes a necessity, with the Ottawa Senators sitting just two points back of the first place Habs in the Atlantic.

"We haven't won consecutive games for a month and a half, so it's going to be important for us to bring the energy we had in Toronto to the game tonight in New Jersey," underlined Phillip Danault, as the Canadiens look to complete a season sweep of the Devils, following 5-2 and 3-1 wins earlier this year.

Video: Danault on getting comfortable with the system

"It's very important, because we want to make the playoffs, and the remaining games are all going to be huge," stressed Paul Byron, who has one assist against New Jersey this season. "Our team did good things last game, so we're going to continue building off of what's given us success."


On Saturday, the Canadiens were outshot 34-28 in Toronto, but played a physical game, out-hitting the Leafs 37-32.

"We liked the way we played last game, but there are still some areas to clean up. We want to try to make some more tape-to-tape passes, and be a little more crisp coming out of our end," described Pacioretty. "It's about the process right now and making sure we're playing the right way."

Now entering their fifth game under Julien, the Canadiens appear to finally be doing just that.

"Our execution is getting better and better, our power play and PK are coming together, and we're feeling more comfortable under our new system," continued Danault, as the Habs have gone 2-2 under their new head coach.

Video: Pacioretty on aiming for consecutive wins

Added Byron:

"Everyone did a good job of following the system [last game]. We're getting more comfortable with it, and there's a lot of positive energy in the room. Now it's just a matter of executing [tonight]."

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