Canadiens edge Devils for fifth straight win
Newark, NJ – Tomas Plekanec's tip-in tally early in the third period proved to be the game-winner, as the Montreal Canadiens held off the New Jersey Devils, 2-1, at Prudential Center.
Colby Armstrong also lit the lamp, while Carey Price posted 32 saves to help the Canadiens earn their fifth straight victory, matching their longest winning streak of the season.
"It's nice to see guys contributing," Price remarked. "Everybody is doing their job correctly and we're reaping the benefits right now."
Peter Harrold scored the lone New Jersey goal and Johan Hedberg stopped 20- of-22 shots for the Devils, who have lost two straight.
"We knew it was going to be tight against this team because they're really good at defense," said Hedberg. "We just couldn't push through and get that equalizer."
Montreal struck first just over eight minutes in when an offensive zone faceoff win ended up on the stick of Armstrong in the slot before the Montreal winger skated into the right circle and rifled a wrister high over Hedberg for 1-0 lead at the 8:08 mark.
New Jersey took advantage of a holding-the-stick penalty against Montreal center Ryan White early in the second to even the game at 1-1.
While on the man advantage, Ilya Kovalchuk slid a pass from the right point to the left point for Harrold, who skated to the top of the circle and ripped a wrister past Price at the 3:54 mark.
Montreal found the go-ahead marker early in the third when New Jersey defenseman Marek Zidlicky's backhanded clearing attempt ended up on the stick of Jarred Tinordi, who one-timed a blast from the high slot that Plekanec re- directed past Hedberg in front for a 2-1 lead at the 6:49 mark.
New Jersey put together a flurry over the remainder of the frame, but Price was able to stop all 18 shots he faced in the final period to help the Canadiens hang on for the victory.
Tinordi made his NHL debut ... Montreal defeated New Jersey 4-3 in overtime in their only other meeting this season on Jan. 27 ... Montreal also won five straight games from Feb. 12-19 of this season ... New Jersey went 1-for-3 on the power play, while Montreal failed on all three of its chances with the man advantage.