The Matchup: New Jersey Devils (22-8-1) vs the Montreal Canadiens (15-16-3). This is the first meeting of the season.
The Devils Last Game: After coming out flat against the Florida Panthers, the Devils played a very strong game against the Flyers. With 3 quick goals in the first, the Flyers were never able to make a game of it. Bergfors and Elias both had a chance for a hat-trick.
The Last Canadiens Game: The Canadiens lost 4-3 to the red hot Buffalo Sabres (8-2 in their last 10) but the game ended on a bizzare note. At the 19-second mark, Montreal used its timeout with Buffalo killing a penalty for the final 2 minutes after Tony Lydman was sent off for high sticking. The scoreboard clock did not begin to run for well over 10 seconds when play resumed.When a stoppage in play occurred with just over 7 seconds showing on the clock, the referees signaled that time had expired.
Tonight's Matchup: Lets get a few things out of the way. Marty ties Roy's record of most games played by a goalie, Scott Gomez is back in town for the first time this season, Gionta is hurt or we'd say the same about him and the Canadiens are a team, to me, that one can overlook.
Cammalleri is the real scoring threat for the Canadiens with 18 goals on the year but the rest of the team is under performing. They are also in a little bit of turmoil in the goalie position because Gainey offered to trade Jaroslav Halak to the Flyers, which rumors have it that Halak asked for a trade.
The Devils aren't without a little controversy themselves as Lemaire sort of called out Johnny Oduya.
Bergfors has been extremely hot lately coming of a 2 goal game and has 6 gaols in the last 10 games. Parise has been putting up a number of assists lately but hasn't been able to put a puck in the net since the Nov 28th matchup against the Islanders.
Hopefully the Devils that came to the rink on Saturday night is the same team that shows up against the Canadiens. That Devils team was much better with passing and shutting down the oppositions chances than the team that showed up on Friday night.
The Canadiens don't scare me, even though you know Gomez will be giving it his all and then some tonight. Marty would love to get #104 against his hometown team but that's not something I am ever going to predict.
Prediction: Devils win 4-2