NHL Game Summary - Montreal at New Jersey
(Wednesday, December 16th)
Final Score: New Jersey 2, Montreal 1
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Patrik Elias scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period, lifting the New Jersey Devils to a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens at Prudential Center.
Devils forward Brian Rolston carried the puck into the attacking zone and slide a pass to Elias, who was driving hard to the net. The puck deflected off his stick and the pad of Montreal goaltender Carey Price. Elias followed up the play and buried the rebound with 2:36 remaining.
Ilkka Pikkarainen also lit the lamp for New Jersey, which won for the sixth time in its last seven games. Martin Brodeur needed to make just 17 saves to earn his league-leading 21st win of the season.
"I think we played a pretty solid third period and it gave us a chance to win," said Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner. "We were able to sneak away with two points."
The decorated and Hall-of-Fame-bound netminder reached another milestone, tying former Canadiens great and boyhood idol Patrick Roy's record of 1,029 regular-season appearances by an NHL goalie. Brodeur also had to pass Roy to claim the title of the league's all-time winningest netminder.
Travis Moen had the lone tally for the Canadiens, who have lost four straight games -- all by one goal. Price finished with 25 saves in defeat.
A listless power play doomed New Jersey in the first period. The Devils had four opportunities with the man advantage, including a lengthy 5-on-3, but failed to convert. To make matters worse, they surrendered a short-handed tally.
Manning the point on the power-play unit, Langenbrunner mishandled a pass from defenseman Andy Greene which allowed Moen to start an odd-man rush the other way. Moen pushed the puck down the right wing and slid a backhander that beat Brodeur with 7:37 remaining in the opening frame.
The Devils tied the game in the middle stanza on Pikkarainen's first NHL goal. Price reached over his head and had the rookie's rising shot glance off his glove, graze iron and land behind him. Unaware the puck was present in the crease, Price backed up and pushed the disc across the goal line with 3:35 remaining.
"It definitely had a weird feeling to it," Price said about the goal and the game as a whole. "It was very choppy out there, there was no flow to the game, and though we kept plugging away it seemed there was going to be one bounce to decide the game and that's what happened."
It was the second short-handed goal of the season for Moen and sixth of his career...The Devils have won five straight against Montreal...New Jersey concludes its five-game homestand Friday against Ottawa...The Canadiens return home to welcome Minnesota on Thursday.
12/16 23:41:40 ET