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NHL Game Summary - Montreal at New Jersey



(Friday, November 18th)

Final Score: New Jersey 5, Montreal 3

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Brian Gionta scored two goals and Scott Gomez had a goal and two assists, as the New Jersey Devils defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 5-3, at Continental Airlines Arena.

Viktor Kozlov tallied a goal and Martin Brodeur made 25 saves for New Jersey, which won for the third time in its last four games. Brian Rafalski and Paul Martin had two helpers apiece for the Devils.

Saku Koivu and Tomas Plekanec each had a goal and an assist while Jose Theodore stopped 26-of-30 shots for the Canadiens, who have lost three of their last four contests.

Entering the third period tied 3-3, New Jersey regained the lead after Gionta chipped a rebound over a sprawling Theodore with 12:35 left in the contest. On the power play, Rafalski blasted a slap shot from the high slot that was saved by Theodore, but the rebound sat on the doorstep and Gionta knocked it past the goaltender for the go-ahead goal.

"It's happening enough (blowing a two-goal lead), but we did a good job," Gionta said."We were outplaying them in the first period, then we came back and started outplaying them again."

John Madden added an empty-net goal with 24 seconds remaining to seal the win for New Jersey.

The Devils drew first blood 8:08 into the first period while on a two-man advantage after Gomez beat Theodore glove side with a wrist shot from the right circle.

New Jersey extended its lead to 2-0 with 4:11 left in the first period after it scored its second power-play goal of the game. Gomez took a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that Gionta deflected off the post to Theodore's stick side.

"Our penalty killing was a problem," Canadiens head coach Claude Julien said. "Obviously it was a big difference."

Montreal cut the deficit in half 7:27 into the second period after Plekanec picked up a Rafalski turnover on the doorstep and shot it through Brodeur's five hole. Brodeur tried to knock the puck away from Plekanec but he missed, exposing his five hole.

The Canadiens tied the game 42 seconds later after Richard Zednik beat Brodeur through his five hole to make it a 2-2 game. Koivu held the puck in along the right boards and chipped it ahead to Zednik, who skated into the right circle before unleashing a low wrister for the score.

Montreal took its first lead of the game after Koivu beat Brodeur with a wrist shot from low in the right circle to give the Canadiens a 3-2 advantage with 5:48 left in the second period.

"I don't think it (blowing two-goal leads) is a fluke," Brodeur said. "But that was one of the better teams over there. We played the best we could."

New Jersey, though, stopped Montreal's onslaught late in the second after Kozlov controlled a loose puck behind the Canadiens' net, skated out to the left circle and beat Theodore high on the glove side with a wrist shot to make it 3-3.

Game Notes

Montreal suffered its first road loss in regulation this season (6-1-2)...Montreal went 2-1-1 against New Jersey during the 2003-04 season...Koivu, who has seven points in his last three games, was scoreless in his last five contests against New Jersey dating back to Jan. 7, 2003...The Devils improved to 6-4-1 at home...Madden's goal was his first in 10 games...The Devils were 3-for-4 on the power play, while Florida did not convert in three chances with the extra skater.

11/18 23:42:40 ET

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