The Devils conquered their six-game road trip with a 5-1 mark. Back home tonight for their first game at Prudential Center since Jan. 8, they try to match their longest winning streak of the season when they host the Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m., MSG Plus, WFAN 660 AM).
New Jersey closed out its10-day trip with Monday's 3-1 victory in Nashville. The Devils moved ahead of the Rangers and into the Atlantic Division's top spot for the first time all season. New York reclaimed first place Tuesday with a win over the Ducks at MSG.
Brendan Shanahan is set to make his Newark debut in a Devils uniform after scoring a power-play goal Monday. David Clarkson set a career high with his 10th goal of the season to extend his scoring streak to five games.
It was Shanahan's first game since last season, when he posted 23 goals and 23 assists with the Rangers. Taken by New Jersey with the second overall pick in the 1987 Entry Draft, he spent his first four NHL seasons with the Devils.
"I didn't know if things would come back right away," Shanahan said. "I probably played a little more than I expected. I still think I have a lot of work to do. This is a game that has a lot of adrenaline. It is just one game. There is a long way for me to go and a lot of building for me yet."
First-time All-Star Zach Parise also added his team-leading 27th goal against the Predators - his fifth in the last six games. Parise enters the final game before the break fourth in the league in goals and seventh with 53 points.
It was Parise who scored the game-winner 31 seconds into overtime on Canadiens' goaltender Carey Price in the teams' previous meeting. He also had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 home win Jan. 2 over the Canadiens.
Scott Clemmensen has been playing like an All-Star of late, allowing a goal in each of his last two starts and recording three consecutive victories. Clemmensen, who is 18-9-1 with a 2.30 GAA since taking over as New Jersey's top goaltender, stopped 25 of 26 shots in the Dec. 6 victory.
Clemmensen posted four victories during the Devils' run of five wins in a row from Nov. 15 to Nov. 26.
Price, meanwhile, is expected to make his first start after an eight-game absence for the second-place Canadiens (27-12-6).
After Jaroslav Halak allowed three goals in the first 23:48, Price entered Tuesday's 4-2 loss in Atlanta and stopped nine of 10 shots in his first appearance since suffering an ankle injury on Dec. 30.
Before his injury, Price had a 7-0-2 record in his previous nine starts, and he remains one of the NHL's leaders in goals-against average at 2.28.
Price, who will start for the Eastern Conference in Sunday's All-Star Game at the Bell Centre barring any more ankle problems, is 2-1-1 versus New Jersey with a 1.75 GAA, but took the loss in a 2-1 overtime defeat on Dec. 6.
Defenseman Andrei Markov, one of four Canadiens All-Star starters, also had an assist in Tuesday's game to extend his point streak to seven. Markov and Price will join Alex Kovalev and Mike Komisarek on the ice to start Sunday's game.
Since 1991-92, the Devils are 24-4-0 with four ties at home against Montreal.
with AP wire services
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