NHL Game Summary - Montreal at New Jersey
(Friday, March 19th)
Final Score: Montreal 1, New Jersey 1
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Martin Brodeur made 30 saves for New Jersey and Mathieu Garon countered with 29 for Montreal, as the Devils and Canadiens skated to a 1-1 in the opener of a big home-and-home series at the Meadowlands.
The Devils maintained their two-point lead over the Canadiens for the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The teams will head to Montreal for the back end of the two-game set on Saturday.
Jay Pandolfo scored the lone goal for New Jersey, which is unbeaten in its last three (2-0-1).
Yanic Perreault scored for the Canadiens, who are 10-1-1-1 in their last 13 contests.
Brodeur, who was trying for his 400th career victory, stopped four shots in overtime. Garon made five saves in the extra period.
"He played well the whole game and made some incredible saves," Brodeur said of Garon, who will likely sit on Saturday in place of Jose Theodore.
The Devils nearly won it in the closing seconds, twice.
Scott Niedermayer had the puck to the left of the crease, but Garon made an incredible save while lying face-first on the ice. Moments later, Niedermayer broke in alone at the end of a 2-on-1 rush and beat the goaltender with a low shot, but the puck rang off the post.
"It would have been nice to score there," Niedermayer said. "The second one hit the post. The first one I kind of shot back into him."
The Canadiens scored first just 4:35 into the game on Perreault's 16th goal. Richard Zednik fired a shot from the right circle that Brodeur stopped, but Perreault got to the rebound first and knocked it past the netminder from the right side of the crease.
The Devils appeared to tie it late in the first when Patrik Elias deflected a point shot out of mid-air and past Garon. However, a video review determined Elias tipped the puck with a high stick.
Montreal outshot New Jersey 15-8 in the opening period, but the Devils finally beat Garon early in the second to tie it.
John Madden gained control of the puck in the left corner and fed it toward the slot for an onrushing Pandolfo, who jammed a shot past Garon for his 13th goal at the 1:19 mark.
Montreal defenseman Sheldon Souray returned to the lineup after missing 17 games with a sprained left knee...New Jersey defenseman Colin White returned after missing three games with a neck injury...Perreault has four goals and two assists in his last four games...The season series is even at 1-1-1...The Canadiens are 0-4-1 in their last five trips to New Jersey and have won just once in their last 21 visits to the Meadowlands (1-16-4).
03/19 23:29:40 ET