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Subban, power play help Canadiens top Devils

by Sean Farrell

MONTREAL -- With a bloodied mouth, Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban made the New Jersey Devils pay for forward Dainius Zubrus' reckless stickwork.

Tomas Plekanec scored twice and Subban assisted on each of three Montreal power-play goals in the second period of a 6-2 win against New Jersey at Bell Centre on Saturday.

"It was off the faceoff and [Zubrus] was reaching," Devils co-coach Lou Lamoriello said. "Whether he could have taken another stride or not, you still can't get your stick up that high in that area, no matter what. You can't accept those. Those are not good penalties."

Dale Weise scored two goals in the third, and Carey Price made 21 saves for the Canadiens (33-15-3), who lost their previous two games following a five-game winning streak.

Andrei Markov and Lars Eller scored power-play goals 59 seconds apart to put Montreal ahead 2-1 after Zubrus was given a double minor for high-sticking Subban at 9:50 of the second.

Subban was cut inside the mouth but did not need stitches.

"It probably looked a lot worse than it was, but it was an accidental high stick," Subban said. "It's just tough. I hate when I get hit in the face, but I'm fine."

Subban got his third assist when Plekanec made it 3-1 with Montreal's third straight power-play goal with 10 seconds remaining in the second period. All three power-play goals were one-timers.

"I don't know if our plan was to have me on the half-wall making backhand passes through the box," Subban said. "I mean, we don't practice that, but you've got to take what they give you and I thought we put the puck on the net a couple of times and the puck just came to me and [Plekanec] was open. The first time was a fortunate bounce on the defenseman there, and Lars was open, so I'm just happy we were able to finish and score."

Devils forward Jacob Josefson scored 3:01 into the third period to pull New Jersey to within 3-2.

Plekanec restored the Canadiens' two-goal lead with his second goal of the game at 12:04 of the third to give Montreal a 4-2 lead. Weise scored 30 seconds later and added another at 15:18.

"We asked our team to be aggressive [Saturday] and we worked on throwing pucks at the net this week," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "And I think the guys concentrated on putting pucks at the net, with the result we ended up scoring six goals, but I liked our aggressiveness."

Mike Cammalleri scored his third goal in four games at 1:33 of the first for New Jersey (21-23-9), which had a three-game winning streak end.

Jaromir Jagr assisted on Cammalleri's goal for his 1,068th NHL assist and 1,784th point. He scored his 716th goal Friday to move within one of tying Phil Esposito for fifth on the all-time list.

Goalie Keith Kinkaid made 38 saves for the Devils, including 14 in the first period when Montreal outshot New Jersey 14-3.

"They were moving it around pretty good, moving to different places and finding those seams and those openings," Kinkaid said. "Their power play was good."

Kinkaid protected the Devils' lead at 9:07 of the second when he stuck out his left pad and stretched out low with his glove to stop Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher, who shot after taking a pass from linemate Alex Galchenyuk on a 2-on-1.

"It was fun at first, and then I guess it went downhill," Kinkaid said of his Bell Centre debut. "But overall, I'm a little upset about the score but it's definitely a fun atmosphere to play in."

David Desharnais had three assists and Max Pacioretty assisted on each of Weise's goals.

Montreal plays the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Sunday night. Subban's younger brother, Malcolm Subban, could make his NHL debut in goal for Boston.

Selected by the Bruins in the first round (No. 24) of the 2012 NHL Draft, 21-year-old Malcolm Subban has dressed as Boston's backup goalie for each of the past three games since he was recalled from Providence of the American Hockey League on Jan. 30.

"Obviously it would be cool to play against him but, trust me, from the looks of it I'll have many opportunities to play against my brother," P.K. Subban said. "He's played really well in the AHL when he's been down there, and he's an NHLer now so hopefully he's in the net [Sunday], and if he's not, listen, we're going there to win a hockey game."

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