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The New Jersey Devils are one of the NHL's best home teams this season. Their past play against the Montreal Canadiens at Continental Airlines Arena has been even more impressive.
The Devils go for their 10th home win of 2006-07 when they meet the Canadiens on Wednesday.
New Jersey is 9-1-1 on its home ice this season and is going for its sixth straight win there. The Devils (14-9-2) didn't get their 10th home win of 2005-06 until Dec. 28.
New Jersey has a good shot to accomplish the feat against Montreal (15-8-3).
The Devils have just one loss to the Canadiens in their last 23 meetings in New Jersey, going 18-1 with four ties in that span and outscoring them 81-40.
The Devils have also taken five straight overall in the series, including a 2-1 victory in Montreal on Nov. 4. Jay Pandolfo and Brian Rafalski both scored in that win, while Martin Brodeur made 33 saves to help New Jersey coach Claude Julien beat his former team.
Julien was fired by Montreal on Jan. 14 after leading the Canadiens to a 72-71-6 mark over parts of three seasons, including a trip to the second round of the playoffs in 2004.
New Jersey is coming off a 4-3 shootout win at Philadelphia on Saturday. Brad Lukowich scored a short-handed goal with just over two minutes remaining to force overtime, and Brodeur turned away both Flyers shooters in the shootout to improve to 14-9-1 with a 2.39 goals-against average this season.
"Brodeur is one of the reasons we won the game," Julien said. "He made some unbelievable saves at times."
Brodeur is 30-12 with five ties and a 1.79 GAA in 47 starts versus Montreal - his lowest GAA against any opponent.
The Canadiens are trying to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time this season after a 6-5 defeat to Boston on Monday.
Montreal came back from a 4-1 deficit and tied the game at 5-all on Sheldon Souray's third-period goal, but Boston's Brad Stuart scored the winner with less than two minutes remaining.
"We had some breaks go against us," Souray said. "It wasn't that we played bad, we played really well, and you get a couple of bounces go against you ... We just couldn't grab a hold of the game."
Cristobal Huet allowed four goals on 16 shots in his fourth straight start for Montreal before being replaced by David Aebischer. Huet is 10-3-2 with a 2.31 GAA this season, but has struggled during his career against the Devils, going 0-4 with a 3.06 GAA in four starts.
The Canadiens have one of the league's best penalty-killing units, thwarting 134 of their opponents' 149 power-play opportunities (89.9 percent). They have also capitalized on 20.7 percent (25-for-121) of their extra-man chances this season, including 2-of-3 on Monday.
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