NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Montreal
(Sunday, January 7th)
Final Score: New Jersey 3, Montreal 0
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Brian Gionta's pair of goals and Martin Brodeur's 28 saves lifted the New Jersey Devils to a 3-0 blanking of the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.
Brodeur's shutout was his seventh of the season, and 87th in his storied career.
Brian Rafalski and Scott Gomez added two assists each, while Michael Rupp also scored for the Devils, winners in six of their last seven games.
"It's definitely nice when you win," Brodeur said. "These games are important for us. It's been a tough road trip, when you play Ottawa and Montreal back- to-back, but you come out and play well to win both games. Right now we're doing a lot of things right. We're basically playing with four defensemen, so we have to keep it simple, and today it was really simple because it's working for us."
Cristobal Huet made 34 saves for the Canadiens, who have dropped five of six, including back-to-back home games.
New Jersey opened up the game with a two-goal first period.
Third-liner Rupp put the Devils on the board just 2:21 into the game, and Gionta added his 18th of the year on a backhander from the edge of the crease with 42 seconds left in the first.
Montreal threw 11 shots at Brodeur in the second, but could not break through.
They finally skated with a sense of urgency in the early part of the third, killing off a two-man disadvantage, and matching the Devils rush for rush at even strength.
However, their emotion was spent when Michael Ryder was called for a high- sticking double minor with 9:26 to play, and Gionta added his second of the game and 19th of the season on that power-play with 7:13 left in the third.
"Right now, we're hitting a lot of posts, or the other team is blocking our shots," Canadiens captain Saku Koivu said. "It's definitely frustrating but we're trying to find those goals again. The sooner we do that, we'll be better off. We killed two five-on-three's and that was a positive in today's game."
New Jersey has won seven straight meetings...Montreal was shutout for the first time all season...The Canadiens host Atlanta on Tuesday, and the Devils host St. Louis on Wednesday.
01/07 18:04:30 ET