NHL Game Summary - Montreal at New Jersey
(Saturday, April 2nd)
Final Score: Montreal 3, New Jersey 1
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Mathieu Darche scored twice and Carey Price made 20 saves as Montreal officially ended New Jersey's hopes of a playoff berth with a 3-1 decision at Prudential Center.
P.K. Subban also lit the lamp for the Canadiens, who won for the second time in their last six games.
Brian Gionta added two assists for Montreal, which is a solid sixth in the Eastern Conference with 91 points.
Ilya Kovalchuk produced the lone tally for the Devils, who made a near- miraculous recovery from one of its worst half-seasons in franchise history but will miss out on the postseason for the first time since 1996.
Martin Brodeur allowed three goals on 29 shots for the loss.
Price stopped a penalty shot by Mattias Tedenby 4:48 in and the visitors picked up the lone goal of the first period. The even-strength tally came at 9:43 when Gionta's shot from the left wing ticked off Darche and sailed in. The Canadiens defense held the home team to just three shots in the opening 20 minutes.
Subban hit the net on a power-play point blast just 29 seconds into the third period and the Habs led by two, then it was 3-0 for Montreal at 3:34 when Darche redirected a pass from Gionta inside the far post.
Patrik Elias fed Kovalchuk at the left post to spoil Price's shutout bid with 5:59 remaining, then Dainius Zubrus was alone at the left post facing a wide- open net with 45 seconds left, but Subban's stick deflected the chance over the net.
Montreal has three games left, beginning with a home date against Chicago on Tuesday...Devils forward Zach Parise returned to the lineup for the first time since knee surgery sidelined him in late October...He recorded two shots and no points in 16:05 of ice time...The last time New Jersey missed the playoffs, it had won the Stanley Cup the previous year and finished the '96 campaign with a 37-33-12 record...The Devils were 10-29-2 at the midway point this season, and have gone 26-8-3 since then.
04/02 22:38:25 ET