|NJD||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|MTL||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
The Montreal Canadiens try to win three in a row for the first time this season with a victory over each defending division champion in the Eastern Conference.
Montreal hosts last season's Atlantic Division winner Saturday as it tries to beat the New Jersey Devils for the first time since 2004.
Cristobal Huet had 31 saves and got his first shutout of the season, lifting Montreal (7-2-3) to a 4-0 win over defending Stanley Cup champion Carolina on Thursday.
"It's a good standard to start the year - if we can beat them, it'll let them know that it's not going to be like last year, maybe," Huet said. "But there is no revenge or anything like that. We're just happy to beat a very good team."
It was the first meeting between the teams since Montreal lost in six games in the first round of last season's playoffs.
Coupled with the Canadiens' 4-2 win over Ottawa on Tuesday, the Habs have defeated the defending Southeast and Northeast division winners in consecutive games.
A victory over the Devils would be Montreal's first since March 20, 2004, after dropping all four meetings last season.
The Canadiens have been getting solid goaltending so far this season, with Huet and David Aebischer combining for a 2.59 goals-against average.
Both goalies have started six games, and Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau has stated he will stick with whoever is playing the best.
If the first-year coach stays with that plan, it could mean Huet getting the start Saturday after his blanking of the Hurricanes. Huet recorded back-to-back shutouts twice last season, but is 0-3 with a 3.40 GAA in three starts against the Devils.
Aebischer, who's allowed 11 goals in his last three starts, is 0-1-1 with a 2.43 GAA in two starts against the Devils, although he hasn't faced them since Nov. 30, 2003, while with Colorado.
The Canadiens held Ottawa and Carolina scoreless on 15 combined power plays and are among the league leaders in killing penalties at 92.4 percent (73-for-79).
Montreal has gotten balanced scoring over the last two games, with eight players recording goals.
The Habs last won three consecutive games during a season-high eight-game winning streak from March 23-April 6.
The Devils (6-5-1) will be looking to rebound from a 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday.
"We obviously could have played a lot better," Devils center Scott Gomez said. "I'm not taking anything from them. We still haven't figured those guys out. Every line played great."
The Islanders went 6-2 against New Jersey last season.
The Devils have not recorded more than two goals in the last five games, getting outscored 17-8 during that span. Their two wins in that stretch were shutouts.
Martin Brodeur recorded both of them, blanking Florida and Columbus in back-to-back contests before allowing all five goals on 27 shots against the Islanders. The two-time Vezina Trophy winner has started 11 games this season and has a 6-5-0 mark, 2.92 GAA and three shutouts.
Brodeur is 29-12-5 in 46 starts against the Canadiens, his hometown team, and his 1.81 GAA against them is his lowest against any opponent.
Zach Parise has scored goals in three straight games, giving him six goals on the season. The 22-year-old center had 14 goals in 81 games last season, his first in the NHL.
Brian Gionta, who leads the Devils with seven goals, had five goals and four assists in four games against Montreal last season.
|Feb 14 '07||MTL 2 at NJD 5|
|Jan 07 '07||NJD 3 at MTL 0|
|Dec 06 '06||MTL 1 at NJD 2 - OT|
|Nov 04 '06||NJD 2 at MTL 1|
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