The New Jersey Devils and Montreal Canadiens met for the first time this season and the Devils were dominant for most of this game but fell short 3-2 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
The Devils out-shot the Canadiens 29-17 but just couldn’t get the puck past Carey Price more than twice. The Devils had at least 4-5 brilliant chances not including the two goals and Price simply denied them.
Steve Bernier started the scoring with a wonderful deflection off of a shot by Anton Volchenkov.
The second period saw Montreal score 2 goals on 4 total shots in the period including one powerplay goal. Rene Bourque tied the game at 1 and Max Pacioretty would break the tie after Dainius Zubrus was called for interference.
The third period magic returned, at least for a moment, when Michael Ryder scored his 6th goal of the season and tied up the game around 5 minutes into the period. Ryder has been struggling this season and hopefully he can find his way out and contribute even more.
The Canadiens would get the last laugh however when Alex Galchenyuk guided the puck into the net on a shot that was looking to go wide.
Once they took the lead, the Devils seemed to fall apart. The Devils were barely able to hold the zone, especially in the last 5 minutes of the game. The Devils even had a powerplay with about 6 minutes left in the game but the Devils posted a very meek effort.
Losing these kinds of games are like getting punched in the gut. As a player, I’m sure it feels much worse. The Devils had a plethora of chances this game but due to a lack of puck luck this game and also some brilliant stick placement by P.K. Subban on a free-for-all at the net, the Devils would have taken these two points and also 3rd place with the Ranger loss.
But they didn’t win and they still sit in 4th, one point behind the Rangers. Unfortunately, Montreal pulls away in the wild card race and even will temporarily take 2nd in the Atlantic (tied with Detroit) with Tampa Bay now holding the first wild card spot.
Adam Henrique sustained an odd injury that is reported as “lower-body” and he left the game. MSG still isn’t sure what it could be but pointed at a possible charley-horse.
If Henrique goes down, maybe NOW Reid Boucher or Joe Whitney get the call?
The Devils will look to take back two points from the gap between the two teams on Wednesday when they complete the home-and-home at the Prudential Center.
21,273 (100% full according to ESPN)
D. Desharnais – 0 goals, 2 assists
C. Price – 27 saves (ESPN has 30 total shots while MSG had 29), .933 save percentage
S. Bernier – 1 goal, 0 assists
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