NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Montreal
(Monday, March 1st)
Final Score: Montreal 2, New Jersey 1
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Jason Ward scored with just 24 seconds remaining to lead the Montreal Canadiens to their fifth consecutive victory, a dramatic 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils at Bell Centre.
Richard Zednik also scored and Jose Theodore made 28 saves for the Canadiens, who have now won six of their last seven overall and on their home ice.
Turner Stevenson scored the lone New Jersey goal in the loss, the Devils' third straight. Martin Brodeur was solid in net with 37 saves, but New Jersey was unable to win its fourth straight over the Canadiens.
Montreal had several chances to take the lead on the power play late in regulation. They had a two-man advantage for 16 seconds, but Mike Ribeiro's shot hit off the outside of the post. Brodeur then stoned several other quality chances.
The Devils netminder, though, couldn't handle the constant pressure Montreal was applying, as Ward notched the game-winner moments later with the Canadiens still on a power play. After having his first shot from the slot denied, Ward gathered the rebound to the right of Brodeur and backhanded the puck just inside the left post with only 24 seconds remaining in the game.
"Maybe the penalties (in third period) were penalties, but there were also a couple of calls there that could have gone our way," Devils coach Pat Burns said.
The goal was the just the third of the season for Ward.
"We found a way to win," he happily explained.
In the last game between the two clubs, New Jersey dominated the action during a win on January 23 at the Meadowlands. In fact, the Canadiens recorded just nine shots in the first two periods while falling behind 2-0, which ended up being the final score.
Quite a contrast to the previous encounter, Montreal recorded seven of the first eight shots in the game. Brodeur, though, was sharp while denying each Canadien attempt. Overall Brodeur stopped 14 shots as the contest remained scoreless after one period of play.
Jamie Langenbrunner had a great chance for the Devils early in the second period, but his shot from the left circle rattled the crossbar.
Playing 4-on-4 minutes after Langenbrunner's opportunity, Montreal was able to open the scoring when Zednik deflected a shot past Brodeur. Francis Bouillon unleashed a rocket from the left point and Zednik was there to re-direct the shot over Brodeur's glove at 4:38 of the middle period.
"It has been 14 games, so it's great to get out of this slump," Zednik said after scoring his first goal in 15 games.
Just minutes later, Zednik's attempt for another tally clanked off the crossbar and post before falling out of harms way, keeping the score at 1-0.
But the Devils would eventually tie the game when Stevenson scored at 7:58 of the third period. Colin White took a slap shot from the right point that Theodore stopped. However, he was unable to clear the rebound and the puck slid into the slot. Stevenson was there to slide home the rebound for his 10th goal of the season.
Montreal moved to within two points of the Devils for the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference...Zednik's last goal was on January 29 against Minnesota...The Devils have acquired forward Viktor Kozlov from the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Christian Berglund and defenseman Victor Uchevatov earlier Monday. Kozlov has 11 goals and 16 assists for 27 points in 48 games this season. He did not play in this contest...New Jersey also played without defenseman Brian Rafalski due to a bruised knee suffered during a loss Saturday to Toronto.
03/01 23:47:00 ET