The New Jersey Devils (3-0-0) will hit the road tonight for the second time this season, as they cross the border to take on the Montreal Canadiens (2-1-0). It’s the first of three meetings between New Jersey and Montreal. The Devils are looking to extend their season-opening win streak to four games, while the Canadiens are looking for their third straight win after topping the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals. Here are the game notes for tonight. The puck drops at 6 p.m., at Bell Centre.
Four Score And A Week Ago: The Devils are the only team in the Eastern Conference without a loss so far this season, and they’ll look to continue that streak tonight. A 4-0-0 start would give New Jersey a comfortable lead in the Atlantic division, which means everything in a lockout-shortened season.
Matteau! Matteau!: New Jersey’s first round draft pick, Stefan Matteau, practiced on the Devils’ top line on Saturday morning, so he’ll likely be playing with Ilya Kovalchuk and Travis Zajac tonight. If he does, it would be the third different top line combination in the first four games for the Devils. Adding more fuel to the fire, Matteau considers Montreal as his true hometown, despite being American-born, and he said he’ll have several family members and friends in attendance tonight.
Brodeur Back Home: As it has been well-documented in the past, Devils goalie Martin Brodeur is considered one of the top public figures in Montreal, his hometown, and he’ll likely receive the same treatment tonight. In his career, Brodeur is 19-8-1 at Bell Centre and he often says it’s one of his favorite places to play, along with New York and Philadelphia.
Better Pace: Despite starting perfect in 2013, the Devils will look for their best overall game yet this season. New Jersey blew a late 2-0 lead to the Washington Capitals on Friday before Kovalchuk won the game in overtime. Tonight, the Devils will look to be the better team for 60 minutes and improve to 4-0-0 for the first time since 1995-1996.