TV: NBCSN (HD) RADIO: WFAN (660 AM)
Matchup: The New Jersey Devils skate their way into Montreal today looking for a third straight win and eighth in their last ten games. The Devils enter play today at 33-20-4 (70 points), while Montreal sits at one game under five-hundred (24-25-10). These two teams aren’t strangers; this is the fourth and final meeting between New Jersey and Montreal this season. The Devils, after losing to the Canadiens on December 10 (2-1), have won back-to-back games against Montreal since then, both by a score of 5-3.
Keys to the Game: Solid defense will be key in today’s game. If New Jersey can play fundamental hockey, a victory is likely against the lowly Canadiens. In their last ten contests, the Devils are 7-1-2 and the Canadiens are 5-4-1. Martin Brodeur will be in net for the Devils; Brodeur has dominated the Canadiens throughout his career, collecting 42 wins and nine shutouts.
Injuries: For New Jersey, Ryan Carter (finger), Henrik Tallinder (blood clot), Travis Zajac (Achilles) and Adam Larsson (bruised lower back) will sit today. For Montreal, Travis Moen is questionable; however, Brian Gionta (bicep surgery), Petteri Nokelainen (leg), Andrei Markov (knee), and Mike Blunden (knee) will not play today.
Prediction: I’m predicting a 4-1 Devils victory this evening. Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise have come alive offensively for the Devils. Since the start of the calendar year, the Devils have won 12 of 20 games (60%). With a win today and a Pittsburgh loss, the Devils will move into the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.