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Struggling Habs make a stop in New Jersey

The struggling Montreal Canadiens added some offensive firepower to their blue line and the Habs hope to use it to their advantage when they visit the New Jersey Devils today at the Prudential Center.

The Canadiens brought in veteran defenseman Tomas Kaberle on Friday, acquiring the 33-year-old from Carolina in exchange for fellow Czech blueliner Jaroslav Spacek.

Kaberle, who won a Stanley Cup with the Bruins last June and signed a three- year deal worth $12.75 million with the Hurricanes, was suffering through a disappointing season in Carolina. He had just nine assists and was a minus-12 in 29 games with the 'Canes.

However, with Andrei Markov still sidelined with a knee injury, Montreal is hoping Kaberle can help its floundering power play, which is ranked second-to- last in the NHL. Over 931 NHL games with Toronto, Boston and Carolina, Kaberle has totaled 84 goals and 538 points.

"The most important thing for us was to find someone to contribute and act as a quarterback on our power play," Montreal general manager Pierre Gauthier told his club's web site. "Mr. Kaberle is extremely competent in that area."

It's uncertain if Kaberle will be available to play in today's game.

Spacek hasn't played since November 14 due to an upper-body injury believed to be an issue with his ribs. He totaled only three assists in 12 games before his setback.

The Canadiens have lost their last two games in shootouts and have just one win over their last seven contests (1-2-4). Montreal's latest setback came Thursday against visiting Vancouver, as Cody Hodgson netted the only shootout goal to lift the Canucks to a 4-3 decision. The Habs lost despite holding a 3-0 lead in the early stages of the second period.

Frederic St-Denis, Raphael Diaz and Erik Cole tallied goals for the Canadiens, while Carey Price stopped 28-of-31 shots in a losing effort. Montreal forward Brian Gionta left the game with an undisclosed injury and is questionable for today's tilt.

Montreal went 0-for-4 on the power play in Thursday's loss and has scored twice in its last 29 opportunities with the man advantage.

The Canadiens are 7-6-1 as the guest this year and they were able to end a three-game road losing streak last Saturday when they beat the Kings in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, the Devils will try to match their longest winning streak of the season today after posting recent victories over Toronto and Ottawa. New Jersey's last three-game winning streak was from Nov. 3-8.

The Devils won a 3-2 overtime decision Tuesday in Toronto and posted a shootout win over the visiting Senators on Thursday. Adam Henrique scored in the fourth round of the shootout to give New Jersey a 5-4 win against Ottawa.

Henrique skated in on net and made a quick move to the backhand to lift the puck past Alex Auld. Johan Hedberg then sealed the win when he squeezed the pads together on a low shot from David Rundblad.

Zach Parise had a goal and an assist while Dainius Zubrus, Ilya Kovalchuk and Mattias Tedenby all scored for the Devils, who rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win the game and improved to 6-4-1 on home ice this season.

Henrique has recorded a point in seven straight games, while Parise and Kovalchuk enter today riding six-game point streaks.

Martin Brodeur started in net, but was pulled after 20 minutes as he gave up two goals on nine shots. Hedberg stopped 18-of-20 shots the rest of the way for the win.

"We scored three great goals to get us back in the game," said Hedberg. "It's a good feeling to come back and win this game the way we did."

Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov suffered a hand injury in the win and is questionable for today's contest. Forward Cam Janssen is also questionable after sitting out the last two tilts with a bruised chest.

Today's matchup marks the first of four meetings between the Devils and Habs this season. The clubs split the season series in 2010-11 and Montreal has won three straight in New Jersey.

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