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NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Montreal

(Saturday, March 1st)

Final Score: Montreal 2, New Jersey 1

Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Andrei Kostitsyn's goal with 5:43 to play in the third period lifted the Montreal Canadiens to first place in the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils at the Bell Centre.

Mark Streit scored the other goal while Carey Price stopped 31 shots for the Canadiens, who have won three straight and now with 81 points sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, one ahead of New Jersey and Ottawa.

"It was a pretty hard fought game," said Price. "Both teams played hard and it went right down to the wire. The game tonight could have gone either way. We can't savor this win and first place for too long."

Brian Gionta scored the lone goal while Martin Brodeur stopped 23 shots for the Devils, who have dropped three straight, but sit atop the Atlantic Division and second in the conference with 80 points, one ahead of Pittsburgh.

"The outcome wasn't too much fun," said Brodeur. "They played well. You have to give them credit. They didn't give us much, expect maybe three or four scoring chances. Our power play didn't do much, but we stayed in the game. We're having trouble scoring goals and creating chances. It's hard to win 1-0."

On the power play, Montreal was able to take the lead as a point shot from Chris Higgins wound up behind the net where Kostitsyn grabbed it and wrapped it around from the right side for a 2-1 lead with 5:43 left.

"The guy missed the net, but someone was around the net to grab the puck and wrap it around for the goal," said Brodeur. "I thought the play was offside at the blueline."

New Jersey threw all it had in an effort to tie the game, but Montreal held them off for the win.

It was a high-flying first period with a total of 21 shots on net, 13 from New Jersey, but neither side was able to get on the board in the frame.

The Canadiens got on the board at the 6:11 mark of the second period on the power play as Streit banged the puck into the net during a scrum in front for his 12th goal of the season.

New Jersey, though, got the goal back with 6:23 to play in the frame as Mike Mottau blasted a shot on net that Price stopped, but Gionta scooped out the puck and put it into the net.

Game Notes

New Jersey plays in Toronto on Tuesday...Montreal hits the road for four games starting at San Jose on Monday...Montreal has won two straight against New Jersey after dropping the previous nine...Montreal went 2-for-6 on the power play while the Devils were held scoreless on their two chances.

03/01 22:58:28 ET

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