New Jersey at Montreal
Bell Centre – Jan. 27/2013 – 6:05 pm
…..This is the only appearance at the Bell Centre by the Devils this season. Will it be Martin Brodeur’s final game in Montreal? Brodeur will turn 41 in May.
…..The Devils are the only undefeated team in the Eastern Conference. This will be first time the Devils will play a team that, going into the game, had recorded at least a win. Their wins have come against the Islanders, Flyers and Capitals.
…..Stephen Gionta and his brother Brian are facing each other for the second time. The first meeting was December 2, 2010, a 5-1 win for the Canadiens in New Jersey. Brian scored eleven seconds into the game. Stephen didn’t register a point but had three shots on goal in 13:11. Stephen wears #14, the same number Brian had when he was with the Devils. The brothers each scored in their last games, both against Washington.. Brian scored the Canadiens third goal in the 4-1 win Thursday. Stephen scored the opening goal against the Capitals Friday,
…..The Devils are looking for a ninth consecutive road victory.
…..The last time the Devils won their first three games was 2002-03, a Stanley Cup year. Their last 4-0 start was 1995-96
…..Martin Brodeur has stopped 68 of 71 shots through three games. He has not won his first four starts in a season since 1995-96.
…..Against the Canadiens, Brodeur has a career record of 43-18-5, and a 1.79 goals against average with nine shutouts. In his seven game winning streak at the Bell Centre he has a 1.25 GAA. Overall at the Bell Centre Brodeur is 19-8-1, with a .944 save percentage, a goals against average of 1.53, and five shutouts.
…..The Devils have allowed a league-low three goals. They have killed 16 of 18 penalties.
…..New Jersey has outscored the Canadiens 26-10 during an eight-game winning streak at the Bell Centre that dates to a 4-0 loss March 11, 2008. Of the 18 skaters and two goaltenders who played in that game, only Price, Plekanec, Gorges and Markov remain.
…..Andrei Markov has no goals and 10 assists in 31 career games versus New Jersey.
…..Alexei Emelin ranks fourth in the league with 18 “hits” in three games. His average of six per game is most in the league. All but one of the five ahead of him in the statistic have played five games.
…..Carey Price has a 3.23 GAA during an 0-4-1 home stretch against the Devils.
…..Max Pacioretty, now on injury reserve, leads the Canadiens with ten shots on goal. His linemates have been slower to get their season started. Through three games David Desharnais and Erik Cole have each contributed a total of two shots on goal and one assist.
…..In his three games, Alex Galchenyuk has played 13:06, 11:10 and 12:33, respectively, and scored once. The Canadiens will have to make a decision following Tuesday’s game against Winnipeg on whether they keep him on their roster or return him to Sarnia .
…..Stefan Matteau III will play for the first time at the Bell Centre on the Devils top line with Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk. Matteau’s father is most remembered in the New York area for scoring two New York Rangers overtime goals in the Eastern Conference final against the Devils. The second goal came at 4:24 of the second overtime of Game 7 at Madison Square Garden off a wraparound on Martin Brodeur, who was a rookie at the time. The Rangers went on to win the Stanley Cup. Matteau III started the season with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. He is on a five game tryout. He has averaged 7:57 ice time in his three games.
…..Mathieu Darche has been trying out with the Devils but has not been signed. He did not make the trip to Montreal.
…..Ilya Kovalchuk scored the game winning overtime goal in the 3-2 over Washington Friday. It was Kovalchuk’s 14th career overtime goal, two behind Jaromir Jagr for the most all-time.
…..Denis Brodeur will miss his son’s third straight game at the Bell Centre. He missed both games last season. He underwent surgery during the summer to remove a second brain tumour. According to Martin, his 82 year old father is doing “real well” but a trip to the Bell Centre is too exhausting.
The Statistics -
Season series: This is the first of three meetings between the clubs — and the only one scheduled for Bell Centre.
Last Season – The Devils took three of four meetings. Dec. 10/2011 @Prudential Center Canadiens-2 New Jersey-1. Carey Price stops a Zach Parise penalty shot in the final minute to preserve the win. Pacioretty and Cole give the Canadiens a 2-0 lead. In Canadiiens debut Tomas Kaberle assisted on both goals. Nick Palmieri for New Jersey. Three stars -Cole, Kaberle, Price. Dec. 17 @Bell Centre New Jersey-5 Canadiens-3. First game for Randy Cunneyworth as head coach. Patrick Elias 2 goals. Also Sykora, Clarkson and Zubrus. Subban, Campoli and Eller for the Canadiens. Three stars – Elias, Zubrus, Gill. Feb.2 @ New Jersey New Jersey-5 Canadiens-3. Canadiens take 3-1 lead on goals by Desharnais, Kostitsyn and Darche. New Jersey scores four straight to win. Price allows 4 goals on 21 shots. David Clarkson & Zach Parise two goals each plus Dainius Zubrus. Kovalchuk withthree assists. Three Stars – Parise, Kovalchuk, Brodeur. Feb.17 @Bell Centre New Jersey-3 Canadiens-1. Zach Parise, David Clarkson and Matt Taormina scored for New Jersey. Max Pacioretty for the Canadiens. Game preceded by tribute to Gary Carter. Canadiens had only six shots on goal midway through the game. Three Stars – Brodeur, Parise, Pacioretty.
Last Time Out - The Devils are coming off a 3-2 overtime win at home against Washington. In that game they blew 2-0 third-period lead before getting a power-play goal late in overtime from Ilya Kovalchuk. Canadiens: A 4-1 win in Washington. The second straight victory after that season-opening 2-1 home loss to the Toronto Maple leafs.
Who’s Hot: New Jersey – Ilya Kovalchuk has a point in every game; a total of five points in three games … Martin Brodeur has a 0.98 goals against average and .958 save percentage. … Canadiens - Andrei Markov had a goal and an assist in Montreal’s 4-1 win in Washington. He has 3 goals and an assist in three games. Raphael Diaz leads the team with five points, all assists. Carey Price has allowed four goals on 85 shots; a save percentage of .953.
Special Teams – Power Play – New Jersey 2/15 13.3% Canadiens 5/18 29.4% Penalty Killing New Jersey 2/18 88.9% Canadiens 3/17 82.4%
Injury report: Devils - Adam Henrique (surgery thumb ligament) Canadiens – LW Max Pacioretty (appendectomy); C-Petteri Nokelainen (IR -back); D-Tomas Kaberle (questionable – facial injury). P.K. Subban (unsigned RFA).