NHL Game Summary - Montreal at New Jersey|
(Thursday, January 24th)
Final Score: Montreal 4, New Jersey 3
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Bryan Smolinski scored twice, and Chris Higgins'
power-play tally with 5:29 left capped a three-goal third period, as the
Montreal Canadiens came back to top the Devils, 4-3, ending a 10-game winless
skid at New Jersey.
The Canadiens were 0-9-1 in their last 10 at New Jersey, and 1-21-4 in their
last 26 entering play Thursday. The comeback win was Montreal's first over the
Devils in Jersey since February 5, 2002.
Mike Komisarek had two assists for Montreal, which has won two in a row and
six of eight. Saku Koivu also scored and Cristobal Huet stopped 10 shots for
Patrik Elias scored twice for the Devils, who have lost three of five. Mike
Mottau had two assists, and Jamie Langenbrunner also scored for the Devils.
Martin Brodeur turned away 28 shots for New Jersey, which was outshot 32-13.
Trailing 3-1 entering the third period, the Canadiens didn't wait long to cut
the deficit to one, as Smolinski deposited a rebound of an Andrei Markov shot
into the net just 29 seconds into the stanza.
A controversial goal by Koivu tied the game at 11:54 of the third. Komisarek
ripped a shot on net from the top of the zone, and Koivu stuck his stick out
and deflected it past Brodeur with a borderline high stick. Official review
confirmed the goal, though, and the game was knotted at 3-3.
Higgins capped the comeback with his 16th goal of the season, on the power
play. Tic-tac-toe passing from Koivu to Roman Hamrlik to Higgins set up the
score, a quick flip just inside the right post, and Montreal led with 5:29 to
"The third period was one of our best third periods in the whole season and we
were playing with confidence even though we were down by one goal and we got
it done," said Koivu.
The Devils couldn't come up with the equalizer, and Montreal held on for its
first win at New Jersey in nearly six years.
"Our commitment to win, our commitment to our system, our commitment to
playing like you're supposed to play like an individual was brutal," said
Devils head coach Brent Sutter.
Elias scored twice early, at 12:18 of the first period on the power play, and
at 3:24 of the second period to give the Devils a 2-0 lead. Smolinski answered
with his first goal, at 14:12, but Langenbrunner's score put New Jersey ahead
by two entering the final 20 minutes.
New Jersey scored twice in the second period despite registering only four
shots on net...Montreal has an impressive 17-7-3 record as the visiting club
this year, where it has won six of its last seven...Jersey beat the visiting
Habs, 4-0, on November 30 in the only other meeting between the clubs this
season. The Devils had taken nine straight and 12 of the last 15 in the
01/25 01:25:21 ET