Hamrlik injured, Price's soft glove and a boring game

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Martin Brodeur reached another milestone, and the New Jersey Devils won another game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Brodeur tied Patrick Roy’s NHL record for regular-season appearances by a goalie, and Patrik Elias scored the game-winning goal with 2:36 left in the third period in the Devils’ 2-1 victory over the Habs yesterday evening.

The game was the most boring game I have seen all season as the Canadiens only managed 18 shots on Brodeur thanks to great puck pressure and tight checking by a Devils’ team that looked flat and had no emotion at all. Even players like Zajac, Parise and Langenbrunner were invisible throughout the game.

“It was kind of boring, but it was a big win,” Brodeur said. “We were playing a team that is not doing really well right now so they are trying to keep it simple. They really didn’t do much out there and they didn’t give us many opportunities.”

Illka Pikkarainen also scored is first NHL goal on a JaMarcus-Russell-like shot who bounced of off Price’s glove to hit the post and Price’s skate to finally enter into the net. “I saw the shot coming and I reached above my head to try and glove it down,” Price said. “I guess I batted it down right behind me. I thought it was still up in the air, so I started backing up. I guess I kicked it in.”

The Canadiens have now lost four straight games, all by a one-goal margin.

The Devils had four power plays to none for the Canadiens in the first period. Despite the disadvantage, Montreal came out of the period with a 1-0 lead thanks to Moen’s short-handed goal.

Former Devils forward Scott Gomez was booed every time he touched the puck. Gomez is currently on pace for a stunning 35 points or if you prefer $215,000 per point. (His last goal is an empty-netter!)

The Habs' pea shooting offense
Nurse Bob
Caricature by my buddy Patrick Laramée.

The Canadiens have lost another key player during the game, as Roman Hamrlik suffered a right knee injury near the end of the second period when he collided with Zach Parise near Price’s net. Hamrlik tested his knee during one shift in the third frame, but he had to retreat to the dressing room because of the pain. His status for tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild and former Hab Guillaume Latendresse is doubtful.

Hammer has been the best defenseman for the Canadiens this season in the absence of Andrei Markov. You learn more on Hamrlik’s contribution here -> http://hockeyindependent.com/blog/?p=7307.

The Canadiens are now down to five healthy defensemen if Roman can’t go tonight. Mara (shoulder) and Markov (lacerated tendons) are still nursing their injuries. Markov is the closest to return.

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