Canadiens Fall to the Devils
New Jersey Devils 3 - 1 Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens played host to the New Jersey Devils on Sunday night, in a game in which the Canadiens would drop a very important two points. Despite a great effort in the third from the Canadiens, the Devils were able to hold them off and win the game by a score of 3-1. For the Devils these two points mean that much more security in their playoff spit (they currently sit 6th in the East), but for the Canadiens dropping the two points meant the difference between being just four points out of eighth, and remaining stuck in eleventh.
The first goal of the game came late in the first as the Devils went up 1-0 with a goal from Zach Parise who netted his 22nd of the year. Despite plenty of shots and opportunities in the second period, no team scored until the last minute when David Clarkson scored to give the Devils a two goal advantage, and drain the Canadiens late in the period.
The Canadiens finally would finally get on the board in the third period as Max Pacioretty scored his 25th of the campaign to pull the Habs within one. The Canadiens would apply tremendous pressure in the third, and just when it looked like they could tie the game, the Devils added a cushion when Matt Taormina scored to make the score 3-1.
With this win the Devils jump to fourth in the Eastern conference, making it look more and more likely that they have a spot all but locked up after missing out on the post-season last year. A loss in this game for the Canadiens means missing out on a huge two points. The Habs are on of those teams where, right now nobody knows where they will finish. Many people like to say that the season is over, but sitting just three wins out of a playoff spot right now, anything could happen. That being said, the Habs are also just three points out of the basement in the East. One thing is for sure, the playoff race in the Eastern Conference is certainly heating up.
Martin Brodeur continues to be stellar when playing in his home town, as he made 21 saves on 22 shots for a .955% save percentage on the night. The Canadiens just don't seem to have an answer for Brodeur, where as the Devils found a great way to score on any goalie. Every goal the Devils had against the Canadiens was made easier thanks to getting traffic in front of the net and screening Carey Price. While the Habs poured on pressure in the third to try and tie the game, Marty Brodeur made all the difference and proved why he is a Hall of Fame netminder.