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game recap

Canadiens use power play to defeat Devils

Alex Galchenyuk, Alexander Radulov each has three points on man-advantage for Montreal

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Alex Galchenyuk and Alexander Radulov each had three points to help the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-1 win against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Friday.

Shea Weber and Max Pacioretty scored power-play goals in a span of 38 seconds with Karl Stollery serving a 5:00 boarding major in the third period to give Montreal a 3-1 lead.

"Special teams mean so much coming down the stretch and heading into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so trying to get some chemistry going and help the team win a game is a big thing," Weber said.

 

WATCH: All Canadiens vs. Devils highlights

 

Galchenyuk had his first multipoint game (one goal, two assists) since scoring a goal and an assist in a 4-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Nov. 22. Al Montoya made 16 saves to win his fourth straight game for the Canadiens (28-13-6). Radulov had three assists, his first multipoint game in the past seven.

"Whenever one guy had the puck, we wanted to give them close support and be more involved and not too spread out," Galchenyuk said. "When we had an opportunity to shoot, we would take a shot."

Steven Santini scored, and Keith Kinkaid made 23 saves for the Devils (19-19-9), who had a three-game winning streak end.

Video: MTL@NJD: Santini finds twine through traffic

Stollery was called for boarding defenseman Nathan Beaulieu in the Devils end 28 seconds into the third period. Montreal had an uninterrupted three-minute power play after a roughing minor to Torrey Mitchell expired. Weber scored at 3:01 and Pacioretty scored at 4:23.

"It happened quick," Stollery said of his penalty. "The guy is coming in and I am going in to finish the play and he turns up. I probably would like to let up a little bit more if it happened again. It's one of those things that happens quick."

The Canadiens smothered the Devils offense, refusing to allow much space through the neutral zone. Montreal limited New Jersey to three shots on goal until 6:39 remained in the second period. The 17 shots against the Canadiens were the fewest since 13 in a 5-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Dec. 20.

"We've been struggling over the past couple weeks with our defensive game," Weber said. "We made a point to really lock things up but try not to take away from our offense."

It was the second time in the past nine games the Canadiens held their opponent to fewer than two goals.

"I'll take this any night; your team is playing fantastic in front of you and halfway through the game it's 1-1, so all I'm really focused on is making that next save," Montoya said. "Maybe it's experience and the games I've played, but these guys did a phenomenal job. I just wanted to make that next save."

Santini scored through a screen to give the Devils a 1-0 lead 4:00 into the first period. Galchenyuk, who was moved from the top line to the third line, scored a power-play goal 1:14 later for a 1-1 tie.

 

Goal of the game

Weber scored off a slap shot from the right point.

"I think the play when I gave to [Radulov] and he gave it to [Weber] for the boom shot showcased so much skill out there," Galchenyuk said. "We used it and trusted our skill set."

Video: MTL@NJD: Weber rips blistering one-timer for PPG

 

Save of the game

Montoya denied Jacob Josefson with a blocker save off a snap shot from the slot 16:32 into the first period with the game tied 1-1.

Video: MTL@NJD: Montoya denies Josefson in close

 

Highlight of the game

Galchenyuk scored off a slap shot from the left circle that beat Kinkaid inside the right post.

Video: MTL@NJD: Galchenyuk blisters home a one-timer for PPG

 

Unsung performance of the game

The Canadiens scored three power-play goals in a game for the first time this season. Galchenyuk and Radulov combined for six points (one goal, five assists) on the man-advantage.

 

They said it

"Everyone was making a big deal about if I had lost my rhythm or game or stuff like that. I knew going in I had to just play my game. We wanted more scoring opportunities than we have been getting and everyone from the start was aggressive; we worked on the power play a lot and I think it paid off." -- Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk, who returned from a knee injury Jan. 14

 

"I think if you look at the contrast, when [Montreal] was in our zone, they made strong plays. Their forwards were tenacious and we had to be a little harder in those areas." -- Devils coach John Hynes

 

Need to know

Canadiens goaltender Carey Price will start against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. ... Devils defenseman Seth Helgeson was a late replacement for Jon Merrill (ill) in the lineup. ... Devils goalie Cory Schneider is expected to start at the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

 

What's next

Canadiens: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVA Sports, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Devils: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; TCN-PH, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Canadiens ride big power play to 3-1 win over Devils

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