newjerseydevils.com – The Devils look to close out their five-game road trip with their seventh win in eight games as they battle the Canadiens Saturday in Montreal (7 p.m., MSG, WFAN 660 AM).
New Jersey (13-8-2) is enjoying its best stretch of the season, going 6-0-1 following a four-game losing streak. The club is coming off Thursday's 3-2 overtime win over Philadelphia.
Patrik Elias tied the contest with 1:30 left in regulation before icing it 2:46 into the extra session with his 10th goal of the season. Zach Parise notched his team-leading 14th tally of the campaign, and Scott Clemmensen contributed 29 saves for his fifth victory.
Elias' 15th overtime goal pulled him into a tie with Mats Sundin and Jaromir Jagr for the NHL record. Devils coach Brent Sutter said that not everyone is able to perform like Elias under such pressure situations.
"It's a quality that certain people have," Sutter said. "Some people get into a groove and handle it better than others. With some guys, things just seem to work for them in those situations and Patty's one of those guys."
The Devils were bolstered Thursday by the return of right wing Brian Rolston, who was sidelined for 18 games with an ankle sprain, and center John Madden, who was back after sitting out four games with a sore foot.
Saturday could bring the return of another recovered Devil, as Bobby Holik is expected to suit up for his first action since suffering a broken pinkie on Oct. 18 in Washington. Holik skated in Friday's practice at AmeriHealth Pavilion on a line with Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond and David Clarkson.
Montreal (15-6-4) was shut out in Washington on Nov. 28 prior to opening a club-record seven-game homestand, but has scored 14 goals en route to winning three straight. Eight players have scored at least once for the Canadiens during that stretch.
Georges Laraque, Steve Begin and Maxim Lapierre, the Canadiens' fourth line Thursday, combined for six points in a 6-2 win over the Rangers.
The Canadiens took three of four against the Devils last season, and have won three straight in the series for the first time since sweeping three meetings in 1988-89 and taking the first game the following season. New Jersey dropped both contests in Montreal last season.
The Canadiens have scored 10 goals during their run against the Devils, with seven players finding the back of the net. All of those goals were scored against four-time Vezina Trophy winner Martin Brodeur, who underwent left elbow surgery on Nov. 6.
New Jersey has allowed two goals or fewer in four of its last six games, going 5-0-1 in that span.
with wire services
DEVILS TOY DRIVE SET FOR WEDNESDAY, DEC. 10 vs. PITTSBURGH
The Devils' annual Toys for Tots collection will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 10, when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7 p.m. Once again, this year’s event is being held in conjunction with the United States Marine Corps.
The Devils request that all fans attending the game bring new, unwrapped toys for collection. Representatives from the USMC, Company G 2/25, based in Dover, N.J., will collect the toys, and anyone making a donation will be eligible to win autographed Devils’ memorabilia!
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