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Big two points up for grabs as Devils visit Canadiens

The Devils and Canadiens are both creeping up the Eastern Conference standings. The two clubs battle for a big two points this evening, when New Jersey aims for its eighth straight victory in Montreal.

The Devils come into this encounter having won two straight while going 7-1-2 in their last 10. That has New Jersey sixth overall in the East, one point behind both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

The Canadiens are not currently in the playoff mix, but a 5-1-1 span has pulled them within six points of a playoff spot.

New Jersey was last in action on Friday, when it posted a 3-2 shootout win over visiting Anaheim. Martin Brodeur was the star for the Devils, making 36 saves through overtime and another two stops in the shootout. Patrik Elias then netted the winner in the breakaway session with a successful wrister.

"I don't know usually. Tonight I just started from a different side," Elias said when asked if he had a particular strategy for his shootout tally. "I tried to look for the five-hole actually, but he closed that off and I went blocker side."

Adam Henrique and Alexei Ponikarovsky tallied for the Devils, who haven't lost in Montreal since March 11, 2008. Their current win streak includes a 5-3 win at the Bell Centre on Dec. 17, when Elias scored twice to make him the franchise's all-time leader in goals scored.

New Jersey has won two straight and 11 of its past 15 overall versus Montreal.

The Canadiens look to pick up a home win over the Devils after logging a 4-3 shootout triumph of their own in Buffalo on Friday. Carey Price stopped both Sabre attempts, while Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais scored in the shootout for Montreal.

Tomas Kaberle, Scott Gomez and Chris Campoli all scored their second goals of the season for the Canadiens, who have tallied 19 goals over their past five games and got 27 saves from Price.

"Those are points that we desperately want and need and I think we deserved it tonight," Canadiens interim coach Randy Cunneyworth said. "It's nice to get the reward."

Montreal was playing its first game since dealing defenseman and assistant captain Hal Gill to Nashville earlier in the day.

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