Habs lose goalie duel with Devils
No matter how well they play, Martin Brodeur just keeps on beating the Montreal Canadiens, a team he grew up idolizing.
Zach Parise scored on a breakaway in overtime and Brodeur made 29 saves to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 2-1 victory Saturday over Montreal.
"It seems like Marty always saves his best for when we come up to Montreal and he was awesome," Parise said. "He definitely kept us in the game."
Brodeur allowed three goals on seven shots at home to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night before the game was postponed due to a lighting issue.
But, as is usually the case, he was at his best against his hometown team to run his career record against Montreal to 37-15-5.
He stopped all 11 shots he faced in the first period, including two highlight-reel stops on Mike Cammalleri, and he robbed Andrei Markov and Travis Moen on excellent chances in the second.
"We worked hard for [the two points]," Brodeur said. "That was definitely a fun game to be part of today. You know, a lot of chances on both sides, both goalies had to make unbelievable saves at one point in the game and we pulled it off again."
Travis Zajac scored in regulation for the Devils (31-10-1), who are 17-4-0 in their last 21 games.
Scott Gomez scored against his former team for the Canadiens (22-22-3), who lost for the third time in four games but still picked up a valuable point against an elite opponent.
"We stuck right in there, played a patient game and got the point out of it — we needed that," Gomez said. "We can play with anyone when we're all healthy."
Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak, coming off a 38-save shutout of the Florida Panthers on Thursday night, was up to the challenge of facing the NHL's career leader in wins and shutouts.
He made 26 saves, but none were better than two early in the third period when he got across to rob Patrik Elias on a one-timer and did the same to Zajac after a pretty tic-tac-toe play in the Canadiens' zone.
Then, with about 15 seconds to play in regulation, Halak got a pad on a Parise rebound attempt to get the game to overtime.
"We knew they are the best team in the league and that it was going to be a tight game, and it was," said Halak, who lost for only the second time in his last eight starts. "It could have gone either way. In OT it was about luck and it was about one shot. Unfortunately for us, they scored."
Some initial misfortune quickly turned into a nice bit of luck for Parise in overtime.
When he broke his stick, Parise decided to return to the bench to get a new one. With a sudden man advantage, all four Canadiens skaters were in the offensive zone looking for the winner and Parise hung back at the Habs blue-line.
Zajac found him and Parise had loads of time to skate in on Halak and beat him with a backhand deke upstairs for his 19th of the season at 2:38 of overtime.
"It was kind of a lucky little bit of a heads-up play from him," Brodeur said. "He could have stayed in the play and tried to do anything without a stick but he went in and got his new stick and got a breakaway and scored, so it's a heads-up play from a good player."